Creativity Sinkhole in the US
Posted by aphillieteacher on July 19, 2010
Newsweek published an article describing a researcher’s study which pointed to creativity as an indicator of future success. According to researcher E. Paul Torrance,
The correlation to lifetime creative accomplishment was more than three times stronger for childhood creativity than childhood IQ.
He listed entrepreneurs, university presidents, inventors, authors, doctors, diplomats, and software developers as those who scored highly in early creativity testing.
Yet he notes with alarm that the United States is suddenly lacking creativity in its children. This could be a real problem for our country in terms of future economy and leadership. What’s the problem?
It’s too early to determine conclusively why U.S. creativity scores are declining. One likely culprit is the number of hours kids now spend in front of the TV and playing videogames rather than engaging in creative activities. Another is the lack of creativity development in our schools. In effect, it’s left to the luck of the draw who becomes creative: there’s no concerted effort to nurture the creativity of all children.
(my emphasis on the last part)
A few questions:
- How can educators nurture creativity if we’re told to focus on “test taking skills?”
- What creativity is encouraged on one-size-fits-all state-designed, multiple choice tests?
- How can parents pay for enrichment classes that 1. may or may not exist in their community 2. may be too expensive to afford?
I think the answer is obvious. By directing so much attention an resources on testing and scores, the United States is actually hurting our children and our country by omitting the important element of creativity and higher order thinking. we need to do more to encourage the creativity present in all children.
Nevertheless, districts are cutting art and music programs. Classroom instruction is reduced to the lowest common denominator so that everyone “gets it.” That’s fine, but what happens to the bright and/or creative kids who already “got it”? I don’t know about your school, but in New Jersey and Pennsylvania public schools the Gifted and Talented Programs are a thing of the past.
It’s a fascinating article. The authors cite creativity movements in other countries and the abysmal showing of US children. It also offers a solution: project-based learning that encourages creativity while helping students master information.
Unless our administrators and policy makers pay attention to warnings such as these, they will have only themselves to blame.
Read the whole article here:The Creativity Crises