C is for Creativity (Part 2)
Consider the following:
- Society, technology, and careers are evolving at lightning speed.
- Schools are preparing students for jobs that don’t even exist yet.
- Information and facts are instantly available on the internet.
- Computers and robots replace an ever increasing number of jobs.
- Competition for employment is at an all time high.
- Employers/researchers cite creativity as an essential skill for success.
- Schools are much more concerned about standardized test results.
- Creative ability continues to decline for our children.
- School systems/educators need to understand the impact of creativity.
- Creative opportunities need to be integrated into the school day, every day!
Creativity’s Contributions to Successful Careers:
"Creativity defines our ability to be successful in the workplace, and is the only factor to differentiate ourselves from robots. How can we solve world problems? How can we keep up with the constant changes? Creativity wins. So right now, our children are losing." Josh Linker - How Kids Lose Their Creativity As They Age
"I work with a lot of Fortune 500 companies, and they're always saying,'We need people who can be innovative, who can think differently.' If you look at the mortality rate among companies, it's massive. America is now facing the biggest challenge it's ever faced - to maintain its position in the world economies. All these things demand high levels of innovation, creativity, and ingenuity. At the moment, instead ofpromoting creativity, I think we're systematically educating it out of our kids." Sir Ken Robinson - Why Creativity Now?
"A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 "leadership competency" of the future. Yet it's 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. Such solutions emerge from a healthy marketplace of ideas, sustained by a populace constantly contributing original ideas and receptive to the ideas of others." Bronson and Merryman - The Creativity Crisis
Further evidence comes from a U.S. study, Creativity and Education: Why it Matters, conducted by Edelman Berland, who collected data from 1,000 college-educated, full-time, salaried employees. Findings include the following statistics:
- 78% agreed that creativity is important to their career
- 88% agreed that creativity should be built into educational curriculums
- 71% agreed that creativity should be taught as a course
- 96% agreed that creativity is valuable to society
- 89% agreed that creativity is important to be successful
So, Are Schools Nurturing Creativity, Making Students More Successful?
No! No! One thousand times, no! The overemphasis of standardized test scores is doing just the opposite – squashing creativity in our students.
Proof? Last week, I wrote about the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, the most widely accepted standardized test of creativity. Kyung Hee Kim, a professor at the College of William and Mary, analyzed almost 300,00 Torrance scores of children in kindergarten through twelfth grade over several decades. She found that scores on these tests started to decline somewhere between 1984 and 1990 and have been declining ever since. Kim’s conclusions:
"Children have become less emotionally expressive, less energetic, less talkative and verbally expressive, less humorous, less imaginative, less unconventional, less lively and passionate, less perceptive, less apt to connect seemingly irrelevant things, less synthesizing, and less likely to see things from a different angle."
Is this the kind of world you want to be a part of? Not me!
Are we preparing our children to be successful in an increasingly unpredictable world?
Is there something we can do about it? Yes! Yes! A thousand times, yes!
I am on a mission to include opportunities for our students to exercise and grow their creative muscles in all subject areas, every day. I will post thoughts and ideas in next week’s part three of my series on creativity. I encourage your thoughts, comments, concerns, ideas…. Let me know what you think!