Categorized | Living Smart

Sparking Creativity

Posted on 09 August 2011 by Patricia Gras


BY Julie Blanco and Patricia Gras

Dr. Raul Cuero thinks children and adults are  both at a creative disadvantage when born into luxury.  He begins to say that creativity deals with how you precede nature. You have to be a good observer of nature and understand your place in it. Children today are spending too much time indoors on computers and are given a limited scope of the world in which they are living in. “They need to spend more time outdoors, making observations and playing with nature because whatever we do with equipment, whatever we do in term of ideas, everything come from nature [sic].” Cuero believes another problem is happening to children’s creativity. Since children are spending so much time on electronics, they are experiencing a lack of communication. He believes that “ideas emerge from interaction with other ideas.” He stresses the importance of interacting with others. Simply sitting on your porch drinking tea with a friend can spark creativity by bouncing ideas back and forth in conversation. A misconception that Cuero noted is that you learn by reading.

On the contrary to learning straight from books, he believes that you learn by doing. A problem that comes from this is that children are not able to think for themselves. Many times they are stuck in situations where they have to follow strict instructions and are left with no opportunity to create. You need to use your hands and play with nature to create new thinking. Cuero says, “When you do something you have many questions, and when you have many questions, that’s the way you have creativity.” Cuero thinks college students also  pose as a prime example of the creative disadvantage epidemic . As a college student you spend the majority of your time studying, doing projects, and getting distracted by the internet and phones. Students have become captivated by the ever-so-popular social networking sites of Facebook and Twitter and also with the evolving phone technologies.

If you walk across a college campus you will see a mass of students on their phones surfing the internet, texting their friends, pretending to text their friends so they’re not just awkwardly standing around, and on the rare occasion, actually making a phone call. The problem with this picture is that students are relying on technology to communicate and build relationships with others rather than doing so face to face. These students need to find a way to break the cycle of sitting inside and being on a computer all day. They need to enjoy friendships and embrace the outside world more frequently than when they walk to class, that is if they even go to class.

Fortunately, there is a way for University of Houston students to find a way to spend time outdoors with their peers. This can all be done through a program called Outdoor Adventure. While participating in this program, students are introduced to outdoor activities in hands on, learning experiences. Students are able to soak up the essence and beauty of nature while spending time with old and new friends.  Activities that support this include the use of the Climbing Wall in the rec center, day and overnight trips across Texas, Educational Series to learn the basics of outdoor skills, and Teambuilding for group and individual development through experimental activities. The Outdoor Adventure program provides students with a sense of accomplishment, and even contributes to the development of leadership, communication and problem solving skills.

Do you think you are creative? How do you feel we can embrace our creativity?

Julie Blanco is an intern for Patricia Gras at Houston PBS. She is a University Studies junior at Texas A&M University.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this blog entry are not necessarily the views and opinions of Houston PBS.


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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Lindsey Says:

    What a great article. I appreciate the fact that you also mention ‘Adults’ are at a creative disadvantage as well. We get so focused on ‘children’ that often forget about ourselves and our need to continue being creative as well. The outdoors is the perfect place to do that. Thanks for linking to our post on, so glad I got to click over and read this!

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