I just read an article from the Houston Chronicle that I really enjoyed! "Brandt: For sake of society, young minds need art" talks about the difference between automated and meditated behavior as explained by David Eagleman (<---neuroscientist) in his book Incognito. Automated behavior is often unconscious and meditated behavior is innovative.
I really like the section about how creativity requires alteration of some kind, based on the work of scientists Mark Turner and Gilles Fauconnier. Copying is not creative. The examples of alteration they give are bending, breaking, or blending. This is something that we should think about as Art teachers. I, as I'm sure most Art teachers do, try really hard to emphasize being inspired by others' artwork (whether from Art History or a contemporary artist) without copying it. I give my students the requirements by the assignment and encourage them to be creative within the confines. Of course some are always going to get too hung up on my example being the "right" way to do it and copy it even from memory if I take it down but I keep encouraging them to find their own way. Anyway, I just enjoyed the article (it's fairly short) and thought I would share it!