Schneller Discusses Creativity at LINC Luncheon

March 22, 2010

Dr. Peter Schneller, associate professor of education and co-chair of the Department of Education presented, “Creativity: Friend or Foe?” during the sixth and final LINC Luncheon of the 2009-2010 Academic Year on Tuesday, March 16 at Mount Union.

“Creativity is missing in classrooms,” said Schneller. He explained that by senior year of high school students have taken an average of 20,000 tests, quizzes and exams. Most of these assessments teach students there is only one right answer, taking out the possibility of creating other solutions. Sometimes, it is taking a different angle that makes you creative.

Dr. Peter Schneller

In life, “there are many right answers,” he said. The way students are tested today teaches them to focus on the rigor of the assignment. On the other hand, when given the opportunity to be creative, students will focus solely on that aspect. “We have to train young people to create.”

During the luncheon, he gave the audience the task of writing their name with the opposite hand. He said that students and teachers alike must learn to pick up the pen with the other hand, meaning they need to bring back the creative element back into classrooms. Schneller quoted Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a Hungarian psychology professor, now teaching at Claremont Graduate University by saying, “If you learn to be creative in everyday life, you may not change how future generations will see the world, but you will change the way you experience it.”

In his presentation, Schneller gave a few suggestions on how individuals can stimulate their brain and become more creative. Some of these ideas included doing puzzles and brainteasers, trying a musical instrument, fixing something and dancing, among others.

Schneller, a member of the Mount Union faculty since 1998, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English/speech from Wittenberg University, a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Kent State University, a master of science degree in education from the University of Akron and a doctoral degree in teacher education from the University of Idaho.

LINC (lunch, information, networking and conversation) was conceived to take advantage of the local expertise that exists in Alliance, in light of the Mount Union’s exceptional academic reputation. The LINC luncheon is a college-community luncheon series presented by Mount Union professors and community members conversing about current topics.

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