Tag: affordances

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Can we teach creativity ? (Part 2)

In the first part, I suggested that in the context of motor learning, it would be profitable to move aways from thinking of creativity as ideation, i.e. thinking new ideas that can then be put into actions.

Rather, these are fruitful ways of thinking about creativity:

  1. It can be defined as developing new functional behaviours, and/or acting in functional ways in novel situations.
  2. Constraints and randomness can be useful tools for creativity.
  3. We need to keep in focus the interactions between the body and its environment.

Maybe this is not the full picture, but I think it gets us a long way, so here are a few ideas to teach creativity, or at least structure classes in order to see the emergence of creative motor solutions.

Affordances: Perception and Action

”The affordances of the environment are what it offers the animal, what it provides or furnishes, either for good or ill. The verb to afford is found in the dictionary, the noun affordance is not. I have made it up. I mean by it something that refers to both the environment and the animal in a way that no existing term does. It implies the complementarity of the animal and the environment.”

Gibson (1979, p.127)

One of the most widely used theories from the Ecological Psychology framework is that of affordances. In short, affordances are action possibilities that the environment provides us. Affordances made their way from Ecological Psychology into various fields like sports coaching and movement sciences, to product design and artificial intelligence. Even people disagreeing with Ecological Psychology and direct perception have jumped on the Affordance wagon. What exactly is the concept of Affordances, why is it so widely applied and what does it offer the world of sports coaching?

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