Decelerating education

By Drake Baer via fastcompany.com   Article

Hone “Strategic Patience,” Watch Your Creativity Spike

“Deep patience. Close attention. … the skills for finding the ‘details, relationships, and orders that take time to see’ can be introduced.

[Harvard art history professor Jennifer L. Roberts] calls it ‘decelerating education’ … she prompted her pupils to plop down in front of a painting forthree hours … details began to reveal themselves, like about the shape of the boy’s ear or the squirrel’s ruff, the way the boy’s hand was in proportion to the glass of water, how the folds of the curtain fell, how the eye was depicted, and what these varied symbols may mean. …

Smart people have told us about how acute, focused observation births creativity. And we’ve discussed, innovation often begins with observation before moving to addition or subtraction. …

When P&G wanted to make new a product for people’s homes, they studied they way we cleaned. After hours of fieldwork, they realized that people were spending as much time cleaning their mops as they used the mops themselves. …

In the same way that a gourmet can savor the flavors of a dish and reverse-engineer its preparation, the patience-practicing, insight-seeking observer becomes familiar with the subject of her study, whether canvases or customers–and in so doing, can begin to know their needs.”

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