The argument that we can’t teach creativity because kids already have too much to learn is a false trade-off. Creativity isn’t about freedom from concrete facts. Rather, fact-finding and deep research are vital stages in the creative process.
So I’ve barely even started to wear today’s ass-groove into my chair this morning when I get this email from my wife with a link to this Newsweek article titled “The Creativity Crisis.” It’s a nice lengthy piece that details all the evidence pointing to the fact that creativity in America is on the decline, as measured by our Creativity Quotient (CQ). And the consequences could be dire. I would opine that the excessive number of old T.V. shows being made into movies makes not only an airtight case for declining creativity in our nation, but also illustrates the nightmarish consequences. But shitty movies are just the tip of the iceberg. From the article (after the jump):
The necessity of human ingenuity is undisputed…..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. Such solutions emerge from a healthy marketplace of ideas, sustained by a populace constantly contributing original ideas and receptive to the ideas of others.
The-a-team-movie-poster So it’s not just the arts that stand to suffer, nor are the arts the only place that creativity should be fostered. Now don’t go misinterpreting that last sentence; don’t go telling everybody that The Holmes said the arts aren’t important. They’re of vital importance. But as the article states, we humans have our collective hands full with problems that aren’t going to get solved without applying some serious outside the– NO! DON’T SAY OUTSIDE THE B– NOOOO!!! DON”T SAY IT!!!!
Sorry. I really hate that phrase. If I was more creative, I’d come up with a better one.
So what does this mean to parents? A lot of the conclusions here actually seem to be rather common-sensical, but easy to forget sometimes in the day to day business of being a family. Don’t solve a kid’s problems for them. Let them figure stuff out. Let them be wrong sometimes. Teach them that mistakes aren’t the end of the world and are all part of the process. Hell, these are good lessons for adults to remember as well. I forget them all the time. I’ll probably forget them as soon as I post this and pack up my computer.
Preschool children, on average, ask their parents about 100 questions a day. Why, why, why—sometimes parents just wish it’d stop. Tragically, it does stop. By middle school they’ve pretty much stopped asking. It’s no coincidence that this same time is when student motivation and engagement plummet.
And, of course, try to be patient with these little people who are trying to make some kind of sense out of this world. Who knows which of our generations’ mistakes they’ll grow up to solve. Perhaps the day will come when we can go to the theater without fear that we might encounter the horror of yet another awful remake.