Like the other models of the MG Taylor Modeling Language,
the Four Step Recreative Process Model is protected by copyright. You
can use it only by meeting these four conditions.
How do you create what you want to create? How do you
share your vision with others to allow them to help you create what you
want to create? How do you measure the success of what you have created?
These are the questions that the Four Step Recreative Process model addresses.
You may be wondering why there needs to be yet another model for
the creative process. Is there something wrong with the Seven Stages of the Creative Process model? Of course
not. This is merely another example of the nature of models. A model is a slice of reality. It represents
the parts of reality that you wish to represent with that model. Therefore if
you wish to represent different aspects of the same thing, you will need to
use different models. Just as a stick figure drawing represents different aspects
of "person" than say, a CPR dummy, the Four Step model highlights
different aspects of the creative process than the Seven Stages model does.
Neither is "right" or "wrong". They merely represent different
aspects of the same process.
The Recreative Process
Here is a look at the traditional model:
||Create a vision for what you want to create.
||Create a template for your creation, in words, symbols, pictures, 3D,
or some other physical medium. This template should represent your vision
and be able to communicate its essence to others.
||Make the creation real. Take the necessary steps to bring it into the
||Discover how well the creation performs in the world. Does it fulfill
your vision? How do others like it? Does it inspire new visions in you
or in others?
||Between each of the steps, you must recreate what it is you are trying
to do given the different and unique parameters of each of these different
At first glance this model seems pretty straightforward. As an
example, let's examine the state of education today. After looking at the world
(getting feedback) you decide that the education system is not satisfactory.
You create a vision for a new kind of learning environment. Knowledge in this
school is no longer divided in to the rigid categories of physics, history,
math, philosophy and the like. Instead, all knowledge weaves together to form
the elaborate fabric of the universe. Learning in this environment is experiential
and shared. [See the 5 Es of Education model.] All participants in this environment
play a number of different roles, from learner, to steward, to facilitator to
expert, depending on the subject at hand and the role that needs playing. [See
the Learning Path: Five Points of Mastery model.]
All learning is also grounded in application--learners are using the knowledge
that they gain in real world settings. Needless to say, this vision is very
different from current conditions. [See the Creating the
You will not be able to create this environment alone so you must
be able to share this vision. The vision, however only exists in your head and
in your heart. The vision is a collection of images, ideas and impressions that
can only exist in the realm of concept. To share it with others, it must take
on a physical form--it must become a template. Now, a template can take on any
number of physical media: words, drawings, physical models made of clay or popsicle
sticks, photos, essays, charts, graphs, or any other means of communication.
To create a template, you must choose the elements of your vision that you most
want to represent to others. What is the essence of the vision? What elements
are essential to the creation you envision, and what elements can be flexible?
Now you must decide how best to represent those elements. Your template for
the new learning environment takes on a number of different forms. You draw
a diagram to represent the interactions of different members of the learning
community. You draw another diagram to represent the physical interactions of
the people. And you write a story to capture the essence of the learning experience.
These templates you share with others, who catch fire with the vision as it
is recreated in their own minds. They can only understand as much of your vision
as you have represented by the models. The rest of their visions are their of
their own creation.
Now you must gather your group to create that learning environment.
You must bring the templates into reality. This involves coordianted group effort
based on the blueprints of your templates. Some people set up the environments,
others decide what sorts of learning will go on, others find people to become
the learners in this new environment. From the templates, a creation is brought
into the world, and the creation must take into account real world factors that
the template may not have considered. The reality is a different creature than
the template, but the two attempt to represent the same vision in their respective
Now you must sit back and watch the learning environment operate.
How well is it working? Are people falling back on old patterns of learning
and teaching? Are learners using their knowledge in the real world and are they
learning what they came to learn? Are you satisfied that your vision has been
fulfilled? In what other ways could this environment be used? Who else should
be a part of it? What else should be taught? Now you begin to create a new vision
and the creative process cycles onward.
The Dynamic Four Step
Now, the model becomes more complex, and more interesting, when we begin to
looks at the white spaces between the steps of the model. What happens as vision
becomes a template becomes reality becomes feedback becomes a vision? Each of
the stages of this model are fundamentally different creatures. A vision is
a shifting collection of ideas, impressions, memories, senses, images and feelings.
A template is a piece that represents a whole. It is a slice of reality or a
slice of an idea. Either way it is an attempt to represent the essence of a
whole or the essential elements of a whole (according to the modeler) in a physical
form, whether it be words, sketches or a more material representation. A real
creation (created through Action) is a living, breathing entity. It exists is
relationships to the world, and is subject to real world limitations and influences.
It is a representation of the whole of which the template is but a slice. In
the feedback stage, the creation is utterly independant. It exists and is part
of the world, to be judged and measured like any other part of the environment.
It is no longer connected to the creator or to the vision. Its purpose now is
to do what it does.
Each of these stages is fundamentally different so there must
be a whole new creative process--a re-creation--between each stage of the model.
This look at the model places much more emphasis on the act of recreation. Recreation
is the center out of which each of the stages is launched and back to which
each stage returns before being recreated into the next stage.
|Let's look at the phase shift of the creation from vision to template,
as an example of what we mean by recreation. First you must create a vision
for the template--"How can I represent this vision to others?" Then
you must create a template for the template--"How well might this template
represent my vision?" Next, act to create the template. Now you must get
feedback on the template--"How well does the template really represent
my vision to others?" If it is not satisfactory then you must create a
new vision for a template that would better represent your vision to others
and begin the process again. This same process occurs between each of the stages
of the creative process model.
The Recreative Process and the Three Cat Model
Any number of models from the modeling language can be tied into this model, but let us use the Three Cat model as an example
of how models can be tied together.
Very simply, the Three Cat model examines the relationships between
reality (Real Cat), how we percieve reality (Concept Cat), and how we represent
our conceptions to others (Mechanical Cat). These descriptions are probably
beginning to sound familiar because they are very similar to the ways that Vision,
Template and Act were described. The creation in the Vision stage is a Concept
Cat. In the Template stage, it is Mechanical Cat. Through the Act phase, the
creation becomes Real Cat. The feedback that is shown in the Four Step model
to connect Act and Vision, is shown in the Three Cat model to connect all three
elements. With this introduction, go ahead and get out your journal.