momlogic's Vivian: A recent Newsweek article, "The Creativity Crisis," has simply underlined what I've suspected all along: that today's youth is seriously swimming upstream with respect to the nurturing of their creative instincts.
On average, IQ's have been rising about 10 points with each generation. But American creativity scores are falling. Researcher Kyung Hee Kim from the College of William & Mary saw creativity scores (a.k.a. CQ's) rise until 1990, but since then, they've taken a dive. "It's very clear, and the decrease is very significant," Kim says, adding that the decline in scores is "most serious" for younger children in America -- those in kindergarten through sixth grade.
What does this mean? In part, the sacrifice of arts classes in our schools (dropped in order to hike test scores and either lift sagging school profiles or abide by stringent No Child Left Behind parameters) is having an adverse effect on our children's abilities to think without textbook how-tos.
In contrast, Europeans are making a concerted effort to elevate creative studies and adopt problem-based learning programs. British secondary schools have tweaked their curricula to place more importance on "idea generation."
American teachers say there's "no room in the day for a creativity class," and (as is abundantly reflected by the lack thereof) there usually isn't a budget for them, either. But the Newsweek piece goes on to say that this is a "false trade-off," because creativity is equal parts right-brained imagination and left-brained research.
What I found most alarming was how dependent young children have become on the instructors who guide them. "When creative children have a supportive teacher -- someone tolerant of unconventional answers, occasional disruptions or detours of curiosity -- they tend to excel," reads the piece. "When they don't, they tend to underperform and drop out of high school, or don't finish college at high rates."
What do you guys think? Is there a solution to the creativity crisis?