[Reflection 2] Creative Learning Spiral


We explored the Creative Learning Spiral as a way to think about the creative process.

How would you describe or draw your own creative learning process?

Feel free to remix the spiral!

A version of this post is also available in Italiano, Português, Español (Spanish), 日本語 (Japanese), עברית (Hebrew)


My creative learning spiral will be,



My Creative Learning Spiral as:

IMAGINE  ---> THINK ---> CREATE --->  TEST --->DEBUG ---> PLAY ---> SHARE--->IMAGINE....

E.g: Imagine your character / Concept , Think the Program / Method and the way you execute it , Start your creation , Check it , Correct your faults , Execute / Play it , Share it , Imagine…


When I think about painting, I think it looks more like

observe -> explore->observe->refine->integrate into skillset to apply when inner voice suggests

I learn a lot from youtube videos of artists (Jane Davies is my favourite) and am really in a development stage. I do not have a defined ‘style’ nor do I want to be limited in that way. I guess this is the ‘re-mix’ aspect of creativity where I play. And when I say painting, it incorporates collage, drawing, layering, removing.

so maybe my spiral could look like:

desire->research->apply model to own work->observe->refine

The sharing part is less common. (I have a lot of works in progress…)

There is an interaction between learning and applying skills. I do not often have an objective in mind with my painting, rather I go exploring to see where it will take me. In terms of making things, I do get some images, plans or goals and go from there. Materials suggest possibilities. What is around has a big impact on what will come out of my artistic process… I was/am an unconscious consumer of many things of my culture and some of those things took me in directions I do not like (soppy sentimentalism from Disney) (expectations from relationships I now see as ridiculous and suffocating for all).
So for this I am extremely grateful for libraries, and museums which enrich my life with images, ideas and texts which are beyond my means to own and imagine.
I see the same immersion in my students and worry for them in the context of ‘gangsta’ images and social media giving weird perspectives of how to be and how we are.


I think that when you are in s process of create something, is interesting that you are thinking about your creation in the middle of other things… while you are eating, while you are dressing yourself, … while you are brushing your teeth… What I mean is that the creative process sign on in every moment or circumstance, taking advantage of some discovery or idea. …


Hi, everyone. I’m am sharing my initial thoughts on how I’d describe my creative learning spiral/process:

Brainstorm, Sometimes-Share, Play, Reflect, Imagine, Sketch, Create, Reflect, Create, Play, Share, Imagine

I might want/need to streamline this a bit. I never realized it was so convoluted…


Minha espiral de aprendizagem criativa com inspiração no construcionismo e no livro Minstorm - Papert


Hi, I know is very dificult to think in ONE specific creative learning spiral. Working with creative learning can surprise us every day, but this is the spiral I imagine while working with children…


I love the spiral as it is… a copy has been displayed in my class room since November. My students love to reference it as they work through both assigned project and project of choice.


I really like your “need to know” addition!


My creative learning spiral:
When I imagine something, I sketch up the idea and write the main issues of the object in my book of projects. Some projects may rest there for a while, until I start playing with a set of elements or codes, in order to start creating prototypes for testing. Tests leads me into a reflection state and, therefore, into a new stage of imagination. After exploring and refining combinations of aesthetic elements, I share it with others, reflect about their impressions and cycle starts over again.


really interesting. yes, I also feel when I learn something I am more comfortable to start from observing other people. there is a saying in Japanese called “Shuhari” which says you should first learn from the framework that exist, and after you really really learn it well, you should “break” it and try out something different, and then go on your true original. I always wonder how far the “shu” part should continue as sometimes I get bored or discouraged if I do it too long. I am curious when you think you might feel comfortable exploring your style?


Interesting that you and @Jen both talking about sketching your idea before playing or creating. Made me think of: the absence of sketching or some sort of organizing ideas might be missing in the original spiral because of the sensitive relationships between creating and planning, but it is a helpful process (at least for me). I guess the question is how far? curious your thoughts.


Sometimes I´m working on a Project and I have insights. I imagine objects, images, sound or software, or all of them associated with each other in an aesthetic proposal as an art object. But, the thing is, I might be busy developing something else and I don´t want to loose that idea. So, I sketch it. And the thing is, sketching is very fun, we can Play with our sketches with Passion. The sketch is an artifact. It´s already part of a Project to be shared with other People.
So, yes, I understand your point of view. Sketching (for me) can be an activity of Creation in the Creative Spiral. And it can be done with the 4Ps.


Very good point Yumikom…


I feel confortable of LCL spirale because it covers moste of the core process of project development. But if we give a broad meaning to each term we will discover that it includes most of what is needed and enougth as a good feuille de route for most of what we could develop.
I have just a remarque like Yumikum reported before that is:
To imagin, it is preferable have an idea on that the present state of the art and olso to know that there are multiple zooms out and Zooms in also betwen the elements of the spirale…
An important step to never neglect is to validate each step of progress…


I regularly teach classes where I introduce learners to 3D printing technologies, from 3-5 year old pre-school classes through retirement communities and everything in between (but mostly university students). The basic idea I teach is that each of us can make our ideas come to life. The process starts with imagination and ends with a testable print, and is meant to convey that we are no longer limited by the availability of tools or resources, but by our ability to imagine solutions to today’s problems. My own creative spiral goes something like this:

brainstorm/imagine -> add idea to project list -> create mind maps and sketches -> design using CAD -> fabricate -> test -> refine/brainstorm/imagine

I like the LCL spiral because it encompasses my own creative process, and allows the same process to influence other areas of play.


Ahhh. I am a hasty learner who believes in experience as a teacher… so I dive in pretty quickly and do multiple iterations… learning through aproximation, and refinement.


As someone who doesn’t consider themselves a creative person, this question stumped me at first. My initial reaction was “I don’t think I have a creative learning spiral” But the more I think about it, the more I consider that typically my creative learning spiral involves a lot of trial and error. I tend to just say “let’s see what happens” and I don’t always spend a lot of time planning and thinking out all the possibilities and outcomes. I tend to take a we’ll cross that bridge when we get there approach which usually means a good deal of attempts before I get to my final product.


I appreciate the addition of “Question” in your revision. I interpret this both as a critical thinking stage, as well as a need to just ponder the possibilities within a creative learning experience.