Creativity and historical investigation: pupils in role as history detectives (proto-historians) and as historical agents
Creativity empowers the teacher to produce lessons that excite, intrigue, challenge and develop in pupils a wide range of thinking, social, organisational and communication skills. Creativity is rooted in the ability to make connections, – connectivity – drawing upon the knowledge, understanding and imagination of the creator that can be wide-ranging, eclectic and apparently unrelated. Indeed the highest forms of historical creativity involve making connections between apparently unconnected elements to produce a completely new view of the subject. Creative connectivity reveals and illuminates what was previously hidden and unconsidered. Sir Tim Berners-Lee tells us how his creative connectivity produced the World Wide Web:
Creating the web was really an act of desperation, because the situation without it was very difficult when I was working at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) later. Most of the technology involved in the web, like the hypertext, like the Internet, multifont text objects, had all been designed already. I just had to put them together. It was a step of generalising, going to a higher level of abstraction, thinking about all the documentation systems out there as being possibly part of a larger imaginary documentation system.