These pages from a newsweek magazine have been on my bedside table for the last few weeks. I’ve been reading it again and again and even sharing some tidbits with my husband and my friends. You see, there’s an article in it that is very near and dear to my heart – creativity in young children.
The article written by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman is entitled: THE CREATIVITY CRISIS. It’s a must read for parents, teachers and caregivers. It wouldn’t hurt our policy makers either…
It looks like our young children in America are not as creative as the young children in previous generations. If you think creativity is a pretty picture in art class, then it may not seem so important. But creativity is, in essence, the ability to generate ideas in order to solve problems. So you see, its vital to human progress.
Here’s a quote:
“It’s (creativity) not just about sustaining our nation’s economic growth. All around us are matters of national and international importance that are crying out for creative solutions, from saving the Gulf of Mexico, to bringing peace to Afghanistan to delivering health care."
I am personally hoping it's the next generation that finally solve our world's greatest problems!
The article hypothesizes about the causes of the creativity crisis; no surprise to any of us that fingers are pointing to the overuse of video games and television. And did you know that our school's are over emphasizing standardized tests to the detriment of creative problem solving? The authors also explain the inner workings of the brain and how it functions in creative thinking. This was fascinating. But I especially appreciated the studies on "creative adults" - those who we would define as success stories in innovation and ingenuity. I wanted to know if they had normal (non-exceptional) parents? YES they did. Whew!
This magazine will be a keeper now that I scribbled a bunch of notes on the margins. My notes remind ME:
1. Don't deprive the kids of hardships - it teaches them lessons, helps them learn to adapt.
2. Expose them to travel (new cultures and new languages) - another way they learn to adapt.
3. Encourage their rich fantasy worlds.
4. Demand less correct answers; ask more questions that don't have clear cut answers.
5. Move to another country.
(Just kidding about #5 of course.)
(You can read the article by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman HERE.)