[Week 2 Reflection] Creative Learning Spiral


Your way of writing the spiral is reflects that you did the creative learning spiral to create yours.

I liked the color and the drawing. very impressive


En esta espiral quizá haría un inciso y pondría después de juegar y antes de compartir, realizar una reflexión o autoevaluación, ¿He conseguido lo que pretendía? No, vuelvo a recrear. Sí, comparto entonces mis experiencias.
Cuando compartimos sabemos explicar el proceso cómo hemos llegado y si nos atascamos, siempre vienen bien otras opiniones, pero como descubridores, creo que es bueno llegar solos hasta las metas y también saber pedir ayuda si no las logramos.
Por lo demás, las siguientes ideas me parecen muy acertadas.


Oh, yes, I like the subconscious tinkering and the percolating. It could also be called marinating or brewing. Ideas benefit from that stage. Most definitely.


Thursday I’m running an engineering activity with 8th graders. It’s a rotation of 30 mins/session, so to keep things on track I added the Creative Learning Spiral as guidance. I chose this over the engineering design cycle because I wanted the emphasis to be on working creatively/playing with the materials since the time is pretty short. After the Share, I needed a transition to work with a partner and actually build a prototype; so I added a Build and Test loop! The first Imagine through play will be individual work, then Share through second Imagine will be partner/small groups. (Base image came from here.)


Hi David - I agree with you, there does seem to be a step missing before ‘Imagine’ - perhaps that step is ‘Need’? The best problem solving occurs when there is a real problem to solve (necessity being the mother of invention, after all!). I teach 8/9 year olds in Scotland, and I’m increasingly aware that no-one really learns creatively until there is an actual requirement for the skill or information being learned - and that requirement has to go beyond the need to answer a question correctly in a test. If it’s possible to create circumstances in a learning environment when a learner has to use her imagination in order to succeed, you start to see some huge advances in personal development. This is hard to achieve in the traditional classroom, which is still set up for a didactic approach to education, here in Scotland at least.

I am very sceptical of becoming over reliant on any model, however - lots of people here are getting very caught up in spirals of one type or another - one could just as easily talk about the creative parallelogram, or the creative tree, or the creative crystal or what have you. If it’s a useful model for one’s personal growth, then great - but trying to impose this model on a room full of children, each one a complicated wee individual at very different stages of development, presents huge practical problems and could distract one from students’ individual needs. The map is not the territory…


The spiral seems to indicate, that creative learning consists of steps, but when you look at children play it seems more like playing is imagining and creating, and ,maybe, also sharing and reflecting at the same time. Creating makes you reflect, you play while you’re creating, creating makes you imagine and so on. So maybe what goes on looks more like this ?? spiral


Here you are what I live when I fall into the Creative Learning Spiral!!


I really agree with the Creative Learning Spiral but I think that, in between, there is a great step that is explore and live. Sometimes is good to step out of a project, see what you have around you, talk with other people and do other stuff that allow you to take your project back with full energy and new ideas.
Sometimes we are so focused on a project that we lose perspective and we need to do other things in order to gain some clarity and be able to add new things, to find new ways to solve a problem or even to enjoy our project in a different way.


Hello I love this also! Can you please share the source of this?


What is this book about?


The Creative Learning Spiral reminds me of Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s flow concept, describing the optimal experience.

When we move from A1 to A2 increasing our skill level, we therefore increase our boredom level too. The option to stay “in flow” again and grow is to increase also the challenge level and return to the fow channel.

I am currently reading this book and highly recommend it.Flow-Channel


Ufff. My Creative learning spiral in scratch was not so easy. There was a lot of questions and lots of playing and experimental and … I´m still not satisfied with my work. So in may spiral is very long arrow between imagine and create. But today I did it again and it was easier, but I have many reflections how to do better. My spirala will go on.


my version of creative thinking spiral is here:
What can I say? I may be in a childish stage but I am addicted to Scratch! Enjoy!


I like that the Creative Learning Spiral is a spiral, rather than a circle or linear representation like some other similar models (I.e., Design Thinking). A spiral makes me think of Fibonacci and the idea that each step is the sum of the previous two steps — the steps don’t happen in isolation.

With that in mind, my spiral would start with play. I often need to play first, to spark the imagine. In fact, that’s what I did for the Animate Your Name project. I looked at other examples, played with them, tried a few different things, all before (or while?) I started Imagining.

I think we often don’t give students enough time for this free exploration before we ask them to imagine.

As a science educator, I spend a lot of time talking to teachers about the importance of observation time. If you want students to come up with good questions, you have to invest a lot of time in observation of scientific phenomenon, to allow students to really start to wonder and ask questions. Through this course, I’m realizing that a similar focus is needed on play.

I’ve done some work with both Project-Based Learning and Design Thinking, and I think this is the key difference with the Creative Learning Spiral — the importance of play. With each reflection question in this course, I keep coming back to this idea, because this is the piece that is missing most from my practice as an educator. But as I reflect on my own process, I realize that free time to just play is one of the most important pieces in Creative Learning.

Which leads me to a new question: how can educators balance the need for play with time constraints?

Personally, I find that I’m most successful on projects where I devote more time than is given to me. Part of that time is spent on iteration, but a bigger part (especially at the start) is spent on play. I’m willing to do this one some projects because of my passion for them. But how can we give this time to students? How can we, as educators, value play in a world where we are constantly short on time?




Here you find my (current) idea of the creative learning spiral:
you can go through the arrows as you like, maybe you might want to start at the top-left anyway.
Thank you.


I think my creative learning spiral would have to also include a side element of frustration and overcoming frustration. Not everything works first time to play with and so sometimes an element of resilience is needed to perservere, fix what needs fixing - or change the spec!


Love the Creative Learning Spiral - for me it jumped out as an iterative inquiry model and also reminded me of design thinking and my own school’s work towards this.

At my school we have been developing what we call our learning model - connect, create, communicate. At the connect phase we ask questions, find, sort and play. At the create phase we make meaning - we use our new knowledge to find solutions, create prototypes, events or systems - this could be for ourselves, our family, our home, our school, our local area, national or worldwide. At the communicate phase we share our learning. This is also an iterative approach. At the centre is activate our school values (joy, curiosity, collaboration, thinking, growth mindset) we activate these at any step of the learning model. For example if we get stuck we use strategies for activating our growth mindset.

I love Seymour Papert’s idea of children being “active constructors” and we are working towards integrating DATS (design, arts, technology, science) into all learning. Dr. Paulo Blickstein, the director of The Transformative Learning Technologies Lab at the Stanford Graduate School of Education talks about “hands-on and heads-in” and that we need is “making with sense-making” which is what we striving for at our school.


Have you heard of James Nottingham’s The Learning Pit? Great for developing strategies in overcoming the frustration - links in well with Carol Dweck’s work and Angela Duckworth’s work on Grit (resilience)

02 PM


Brilliant post - agree so much to devoting time for playing (tinkering)!