tools for creative thinking
Creative thinking is essential
Creative thinking is one of the most desired skills in the modern era. We want our children to learn it at school and require it on the CV of our new team members. Creative thinking is not only coming with new ideas but also problem-solving, organising things, communication, open-mindedness and analysis. It goes hand in hand with other types of thinking like collaborative and critical thinking. Here at Creative Together we've dedicated many years to learn, practice and teach those skills.
Creativity workshop (NEW)
A lot of what we do at Creative Together is aimed at awakening creative spirit among your community, team or classroom. But now we also offer a workshop dedicated purely to practising creative thinking, introducing some practical tools that could be implemented when solving problems, generating ideas and coming with new solutions.
Now available online! Spend 1-2 hours, learning what is creativity, having fun team exercises and acquiring new tools.
philosophy in schools
Awakening creativity through the community of inquiry:
At Creative Together we run Philosophy Workshops, Courses and programmes in schools throughout Ireland.
Studies show that children regularly doing philosophy do better at reading, writing, and maths as well as improving their critical thinking skills and engaging more with different subjects at school. Self-esteem improves and they are able to articulate their thoughts better in front of the teachers and peers.
Our typical session starts with the facilitator presenting stimuli, in the form of a story, picture, piece of music, short drama, an object or activity and posing a question to focus on. With the less experienced groups, we often bring ready, focused questions, but more experienced groups will be able to formulate their own questions.
Children discuss the problem among themselves, with the facilitator keeping the group on track, but NOT forcing any opinions or answers onto them. At the end of the session, there is a time for reflection and the children will have an opportunity to evaluate how the session went.
The sessions incorporate games and activities to keep them fun and to keep the children engaged. They are suitable for all ages, with more complexity for older groups.
The short course in philosophy was introduced to Junior Cycle in September 2016, and thanks to encouragement from the president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, Jan O'Sullivan and Philosophy Ireland philosophy is in the Irish curriculum. In 2017 The Young Irish Philosopher Award competition was also launched.
We are proud to have brought the SOPHIA Network, European Foundation for the Advancement of Philosophy with children to Ireland.
How we can serve your school:
invite us to become your Philosopher in Residence
we work in Primary and Secondary schools
run 6-8 weeks programme at your school
assist teachers with the short course in Philosophy in Junior Cycle
help students with their project for the Young Irish Philosopher competition
train and support teachers with implementing P4C and inquiry-based learning in their curriculum
sessions in the form of an after-school club
a multitude of topics and ideas to engage students in the inquiry
Some benefits of doing philosophy with children:
stimulating problem solving and creative thinking
significant gains in verbal and non-verbal reasoning
better communication skills
opportunities for shyer students to speak
engaging with big ideas
practising "soft skills" and "higher-order thinking" skills
Your Philosopher in Residence
We understand that teachers have already lots to do.
Learning a new pedagogy can take time and seeing it in action in your class, having a philosopher in residence, is a great start if you want to introduce philosophy to your school. You'll have a chance to witness how P4C and inquiry-based learning works in a school setting.
We suggest you'll have at least 6-8 sessions for each chosen classroom - 1 h session weekly (we can do up to 4 classrooms in a day) or you can invite us for regular sessions throughout the school year. We can discuss then how you can develop your skills to embed Philosophy into your school's curriculum. We'll be happy to share resources with you and help training the teachers. Our sessions are based on years of experience in the PhiE (philosophical inquiry), P4C (philosophy for/with children) and also SEAI workshops.
thinking with hands
Do we only think with our heads? Well, we can also think with hands. We offer a very unique workshop (or series of workshops) that involve using creative materials like LEGO blocks, clay, paints and pencils. The sessions are based on a LEGO-LOGOS method developed by a philosopher and educator J.M. Spychała in Poland that uses creative materials. These workshops are designed for smaller groups (up to 10 people) and require about 2 hours, but we can allow for some flexibility depending on your community needs.
The participants will receive a text to read out loud and then interpret with the chosen materials. Later the works of each participant will be discussed among the group, first, others will say what they think the author wanted to show through their piece and then the author will explain their take on their own creation. These sessions are a perfect spark to awake creativity and spark reflection of a philosophical nature, inviting questions and deeper thinking about the world we are living in.
public philosophy projects
Public service of philosophy
Philosophy has an important role to play and one of our goals is to make it more accessible to everyone in society, not only in the form of literature and lectures but rather in the form of a living community of inquiry, where we think together, exchange ideas and make sense of the world we are living in. The fast-paced changing world requires reflection and communication.
There are conversations we all need to have.
Creative Together helps to guide and facilitate discussions in the form of philosophical inquiry for any group and in any public or private setting.
And by the way ... Philosophy? What is it?
The Greek word φιλοσοφία comes from two words philos (to love) and sophia (knowledge or wisdom) literally meaning the love of wisdom.
Philosophy asks the big questions about life. Historically philosophy started in Ancient Greece, where curiosity for understanding the world and how it works became an important part of the culture. We owe a lot to many ancient thinkers like Plato, Aristotle and of course Socrates.
Since then philosophy became a central part of our western civilization with our modern science, especially physics, coming directly from philosophy. We can talk about the different pillars of philosophy. Metaphysics (Greek ta meta ta phusika - the things after the Physics) deals with ideas, abstract concepts like being, knowing, identity, time, and space. Its branch Ontology (Greek tō ōn - to be) asks the questions about what exists. Epistemology (Greek epistēmē - knowledge) is asking the questions about perception and knowledge, how can we be sure of what we know. Esthetics (Greek aisthesthai - perceive) is concerned with questions about beauty and art, like how do we know something is beautiful. Ethics (Greek hē ēthikē tekhnē - the science of morals) asks questions about moral conduct and principles, how we know right from wrong. Philosophy of Politics (Greek politēs - citizen, polis - city) wants to explain how should a group of people govern themselves in the best possible way, and of course all these wouldn't be possible without logic (Greek logos - word, reason) that looks at the validity and correctness of reasoning. The more recent branch is the philosophy of science, asking about its foundations, methods, and implications.