Understanding Creativity through Play
The objectives of this study are to explore how aspects of creativity and play relate, to call attention to significant commonalities between these two that may be overlooked, and to understand how to take advantage of opportunities to make structured creativity courses more intrinsically motivating and engaging. The paper identifies aspects that are common with play and creativity. The paper focuses on the impact of institutional socialization in the pressuring of conformity, the lack of autonomy, and the marginalizing of play as an effective learning tool. The paper presents a summary of a student’s undergraduate senior thesis project on play. The preliminary conclusions are that encouraging novelty, autonomy and a playful approach to problems can be used as a model for engaging students in developing and expressing creativity. Results of this inquiry suggest that creative endeavors feel more like play than work and that providing a more playful approach in creativity courses yields stronger outcomes.