Explore creativity in every aspect of human achievement.

Creativity is the ability to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, to realize something fresh and inventive. Creativity gives one a sense of being alive and valuable. There is creativity in everything, from scientific discoveries to a new business model to a plan to make the world just and sustainable.

Students in this Pathway will experience creativity within a variety of disciplines. Students will learn to analyze the similarities and differences between creation and innovation, explore how their personal identities connect to creativity, understand how knowledge is socially constructed with creativity, consider the moral and ethical implications of creativity and develop skills and practices for cultivating creativity.

While students will construct their own animating questions, some possible examples include:

  • What is creativity and where does it come from?
  • Can one become more creative by changing mindset or finding a passion, or is creativity something you either have or do not have?
  • Are creativity and innovation interconnected? If so how?
  • What role does creativity play in science?
  • What pros and cons are there to creativity?
  • What are the greater implications to creativity?
  • Do other animals have creativity and how do they express it?

Thematic Inquiry

The Thematic Inquiry course will expose students to different applications of creativity in a broad range of disciplines, and teach them to recognize and understand the manifestation of creativity in the faculty, guests and their communities. Students will apply their creativity in the form of questions posed to their classmates, to visiting speakers, and, ultimately, to themselves.

Topics include modern vs. postmodern theory; creative thinking, problem solving and innovation; The Human Spark; the imagination; personal vision; skills and techniques for increasing creativity, benefits of personal creativity and negative effects of creativity. Students will be required to keep physical journals; create a website that has all of their questions, source information, and applied creative work; complete a final project; answer questions on readings that will lead to small and large group discussions and write papers on the course content applied to their processes.

Global/Local Engagement

As with the open and inclusive approach to the Curricular Itinerary, within the context of creativity, any/all study away programs could be relevant to the students in the Creativity Pathway. Ideally the opportunity would allow for exploration in an engaging way that allows students to design their coursework to meaningfully connect to their animating question.

Programs such as the School for International Training (SIT) offer an Independent Study Project (ISP) to spend the last four weeks of the program focused on pursuing original research on a selected topic of a student’s interest.

Internship experiences that students develop and create themselves are ideal for this Pathway (as opposed to established, pre-existing, posted internships that are created by employers). By creating and developing their own internship experience, and proposing it to a potential sponsor, the student can have a proactive role in their participation and direct firsthand learning. The opportunity for students to create their own internships is strongly supported by the College’s Internship Program. Students can take full advantage of this opportunity by determining what kind of internship experience they want and proactively finding where they want to pursue it. Through networking, possibly with CC alumni and parents, they can determine companies and organizations of interest, create and propose their own internship terms to align with their animating question, and gain approval to secure funding. Some examples include:

  • Artist collaborative work with local school kids
  • Volunteering for activist movement
  • Research in a psychology lab
  • Giving Garden at Coogan Farm
  • Film internship at The Documentary Group 

Students will also be encouraged to have a part in developing or creating activities and programs related to their focus area of creativity within their communities. By having a role in developing programming within a community-based connection, students will be better prepared to directly inform or relate to their animating question and Pathway focus. Students will be able to explore options through Community Partnerships. Some examples include:

  • Developing a Creative Expression Dance Program for students at the Connecticut College Children’s Center
  • Organizing and designing a collaborative art project at a local school or community center
  • Reviewing, proposing and implementing resource-saving measures at a local business
  • Volunteering with the sustainability office on campus
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