Professor Mitch Resnick of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab, channels his own creative intellect to transform classic forms of play into hands-on learning experiences.
Q – You’re a believer of promoting construction rather than instruction when working with youth; how does this relate to their ability to think and act creatively?
Mitch Resnick – Many would agree that we live in an era of rapid change. Nothing is more important than the ability to think and act creatively because we can’t know exactly what situations we will be experiencing in the future. The best way to prepare for this unsure future that awaits us is to be able to come up with innovative solutions for unexpected situations. We are trying to explore how we can help young people develop as creative thinkers so they will be prepared for tomorrow’s society that will value and require creative thinking more than ever before.
When people are engaged in creating things, it helps them develop as creative thinkers. We try to provide a lot of opportunities to design, create, and invent new things. Of course, It’s not just about the act of creating something — it’s part of a process where you start with your imagination, come up with ideas and then you create a prototype so that you can experiment with those ideas and collaborate on creations with others. You can then reflect and think about what you learned from this creation and then form new ideas. That’s what the creative process is all about: the ability to imagine and create and experiment and share and collaborate and reflect and then repeat that whole cycle over and over, revising and improving each time.