Who doesn’t want unbridled creativity? It sounds amazing! Imagine the creative powers that students may collectively bring to the classroom if left to freely explore and develop. I can see students posed with a problem developing all kinds of creative solutions. Cure It comes to mind.
Of course we can cite so many examples of valuable innovations.
These are testaments to the amazing intellectual ingenuity and flexibility. But what happens when ingenuity and flexibility serve ethically questionable purposes? I remember visiting a museum exhibition of medieval torture devices. Guess what this one was used for.
Then there are those innovations that are more a matter of function or utility:
There are also those that are so pervasive we often don’t think to explore the ethical implications. Colton mining and its effects on the Eastern lowland gorilla article by Amy Costanzo, University of Baltimore Law School highlights some of the problems with the technological tools we use daily.
I’m not trying to advance a particular agenda. Rather, I’m merely highlighting a very complex and often overlooked dimension innate to multi-layered issues. Additionally, I’m highlighting the thinking that we bring (or don’t bring) to these issues. Do we have a responsibility to address the ethical implications of creative work regardless of the discipline?
To take this question a little further, I’d also like to ask: Do we have an obligation to explore the ethical implications of pedagogy that limits or restricts student creativity? That’s my Day 28 Question.
This blog is for reflective purposes, in part, so I cannot answer these questions with any definitive conclusions. That doesn’t tend to be the nature of ethical discourse anyway. My goal today is to reflect on the nature of innovation and attempt to expose some of the assumptions we project on the topic.
Food for thought (and the table depending on how you think about the chickens).
In any case, I’d like to show that humans are not the only innovative thinkers on this planet. Crows, for example, are pretty damn innovative.