How Constraints Can Stimulate Creative Solutions

 (TED-ED/Máté Muszka )

Creativity has become a coveted skill as the world's problems get bigger and more complex. Many schools recognize creativity as an important part of learning as well, but struggle to inject it into classrooms that are often dictated by district-mandated curriculum and focused on a narrow set of success criteria. But the challenges schools face could also be grounds for modeling the type of creativity teachers want to see in students.

"Constraints aren't the boundaries of creativity, but the foundation of it," according to Brandon Rodriguez in a TED-Ed video on the creative power of limitations. Constraints are an essential part of scientific experimental design and have driven discoveries in engineering and other fields as well. Too often "creativity" is associated only with art or aesthetics, but there is evidence of creativity in many day-to-day activities.

There's no question that educators are under enormous pressure from all sides, but there's also no reason why the constraints that seem to limit creativity couldn't also help guide and drive change.

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