An industrial estate is an unlikely venue for good food. But it’s been a pleasure eating at New Ubin Seafood Restaurant (facebook), with its mismatched plastic chairs and fairy lights and Christmas-Chinese New Year decorations, since returning to Singapore.
A delight to be back in Singapore with these people, groaning at R’s bad (good?) puns, celebrating the lovely M’s birthday, and to have a such great time exchanging stories about travels and coming to know Jesus that the time flew past and we were presented with the bill, which in Singapore resto terms meant they were closing up.
We’d also been chatting to one of the waiters about how his boss came up with the recipes for the dishes we liked.
“Oh you see, if you see Mr. Pang in the office sitting there, he’s not doing nothing you know. He’s thinking, [here, he put his fingers to his temple to mime thinking] coming up with new dishes.”
Not the sort of creativity you can taught in school…well, if even the assumption that creativity (however defined) can be taught is valid. Underlying presumption is that every person has innate creativity.
There is a general, evidence-free and quite preposterous assumption that everyone is creative, and that all teachers need to do is somehow encourage it.
Thus we have:
- The arson school – which helps you set fire to your creativity.
- The constipation school – which unblocks and enables you to express your innate creativity.
- The liberation school – which sets you free from the shackles that imprison you.
- The discovery school – which helps you find your inner creative being.
- The Blue Peter School – which enhances creativity through fun and games with toilet rolls and washing up liquid bottles.
Creativity, like all other human attributes, is normally distributed: a few extremely creative people ad a roughly equal number, sadly, possessing little or none. Most lie in the middle of the continuum. Yes, you can teach creativity tricks and processes, but you won’t achieve much without talent…or motivation.
But perhaps Mr. Furnham is too pessimistic; perhaps it all depends on your definition of creativity, and the field in which you are being measured for such an aptitude.