An interesting article in Newsweek on creativity and US education. While I'm always a little skeptical of the next "crisis" in education, there are implications to the renewed, rabid emphasis on testing, competition, and teacher-proof curricula. Take a look.
- "The correlation to lifetime creative accomplishment was more than three times stronger for childhood creativity than childhood IQ.
- "A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 “leadership competency” of the future."
- "The argument that we can’t teach creativity because kids already have too much to learn is a false trade-off."
The Creativity Crisis
For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong—and how we can fix it.
Back in 1958, Ted Schwarzrock was an 8-year-old third grader when he became one of the “Torrance kids,” a group of nearly 400 Minneapolis children who completed a series of creativity tasks newly designed by professor E. Paul Torrance. Schwarzrock still vividly remembers the moment when a psychologist handed him a fire truck and asked, “How could you improve this toy to make it better and more fun to play with?” He recalls the psychologist being excited by his answers. In fact, the psychologist’s session notes indicate Schwarzrock rattled off 25 improvements, such as adding a removable ladder and springs to the wheels. That wasn’t the only time he impressed the scholars, who judged Schwarzrock to have “unusual visual perspective” and “an ability to synthesize diverse elements into meaningful products.”
The accepted definition of creativity is production of something original and useful, and that’s what’s reflected in the tests. There is never one right answer. To be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result).