Not many schools have a Co-ordinator of Creativity and Innovation. But then again, not many schools are like Geelong Grammar School, which has built an international reputation as a pioneer in modern education. Dr Tim Patston was appointed as the School's inaugural Co-ordinator of Creativity and Innovation at the beginning of the year. A former Head of Music at Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Dr Patston is also an Honorary Fellow of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) at Melbourne University, where he lectured in positive psychology and curriculum development. "More than ever, schools have a responsibility to prepare children for a society of rapidly changing diversity and opportunity," Dr Patston explained. "Being able to think creatively and to innovate is the single most important skill our children can learn for the future, in their careers and in their lives. Understanding this and how to develop these skills in students is creating a major change in education. I believe that creativity, in all students and teachers, can be accessed, ignited and nurtured, if a supportive and sustaining environment is provided."
Geelong Grammar School has embarked upon an exciting new approach to learning that explores how creative and innovative thinking can be taught across all areas of the curriculum. On May 23, the School opened its AUD$20 million (S$21 million) School of Performing Arts and Creative Education (SPACE) to act as a catalyst for the School's development of creativity and innovation as well as provide a focal point for the Performing Arts. The building provides state-of-the-art facilities for drama, music and dance. It has theatres and classrooms, but it also has spaces designed for students and teachers to express themselves, harness new technology and explore creativity. "I think this is the most exciting part of what we are doing," Principal, Stephen Meek, said. "The world needs new ideas and we want to encourage our students, whoever they are, wherever they may be, to find new and innovative ways of doing things. The SPACE symbolises the School's commitment to creativity in education by providing a learning environment that stimulates collaboration and nurtures innovation."
Dr Patston believes this focus on creative learning highlights a fundamental shift in the way we look at education, particularly as our region moves increasingly away from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based one. "Creativity is important in all subjects, from the arts to business and engineering," he explained. "When you hear people talking about unlocking the secrets of creativity they are often talking about businessmen like Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. And engineering is all about finding ways to make things work, which takes a lot of creativity. Consider the impact of technology on business in the last 10 years. Lots of the jobs people used to have, computers can now do. What computers can't do is think laterally in a creative way and come up with ideas and then turn those ideas into something practical. Students who can be creative will find it easier to find their own path in these new workplaces. The vision of Geelong Grammar School in nurturing this new approach to learning and developing the School for Performing Arts and Creative Education (SPACE) puts the School at the vanguard of contemporary education."
GEELONG GRAMMAR SCHOOL - INFORMATION SESSION
Date: Friday, 12 June 2015
Venue: Shangri-La Hotel, 22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore
For more information visit www.ggs.vic.edu.au