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Factivity An Article looking at knowledge and creativity and proposing the concept of 'Factivity' - the integration and co-dependence of the two. Also includes suggestions for designing activities that include factivity.

This is a Free Sample Resource
Categories: Article, Creativity, Other Subject, Educators

Tags: Creative Curriculum Knowledge Creative Thinking
Can I do that?
Factivity: the seamless integration and co-dependence of facts and creativity in a learning context.
Linguists, yes, I know, factivity has already been bagged. It's the state of being factive; an adjective describing clauses assumed to be true, and factiveness does the same job. So until the language police come calling I'll use factivity to talk about an important concept in the classroom. Yes I can :)

Facts are great. They can be interesting, surprising, shocking and intriguing. They can be linked, memorised, sequenced, analysed, challenged, evaluated and disputed. They are grains of wheat trickling out of the hopper in a flour mill. Facts are units of truth.

(Fact: did you know that nearly a third of primary school children believe that cheese is made from plants - BNF, 2013)

Creativity is great. It can be interesting, surprising, shocking and intriguing. It can be used to link ideas, improve memory, sequence concepts, analyse, challenge, evaluate and dispute in new and engaging ways. It's the action of millstones grinding wheat in to flour. It's also the making of bread from flour's combination with yeast and water. Creativity is making new things of value.

(Creativity: Leon restaurant chain founders Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent have been appointed by the Secretary of State to lead an independent review of school food - BBC Website)

Facts and creativity are linked like wheat and bread. Factivity.

Factivity in Lesson Design
You probably do this really well already: If facts are units of truth then they'll be scattered throughout your lesson input (and the exam board's syllabus). If creativity is making new things of value, then it begins the moment you get pupils processing and working with the facts. But it's wise to do a quick self-audit:

What's the balance in my lessons between facts and creativity?
How much time do I spend imparting knowledge?
How do I impart that knowledge?
How much time do pupils spend creating new things of value?
How do I get them to do that?
Which activities do I use that combine facts and creativity?

Design Rules
How did you fair? Are you fact-heavy? Are you over-creative? Are you happy with your factivity rating? Let me offer you a few design rules that aim to embed factivity into any lesson:

1. Clearly state, express and make available the facts which pupils need to know
2. Offer pupils one or more fact-processing options: analyse, sequence, evaluate, re-present, evaluate etc.
3. Offer pupils one or more forms of showing their processing - written, drawn, spoken etc.
4. Support pupils self evaluating for progress, knowledge gained and new things created.

I've taken the idea further in this month's premium area with a Factivity Design Grid (see below). This supports you in quickly designing lessons that cover the curriculum in creative ways. Hope it's of use!

Related Resources:

Alfred's Gift

Fact Climb

Factivity Grid

High Order Thinking

Is Knowledge Power?


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