Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Creativity in our Kids. Why we need it. How to get it.

Here's a recap on the disturbing article from Newsweek, titled, "Creativity in America."

While the tests it references confirm enriched environments are allowing our children to test higher on IQ exams, the reverse is happening with creativity scores. This is troubling because creativity and curiosity are a better measure of long term success. It's especially troubling in 2010 b/c:
  1. Current trends at home and at school decrease, rather than nurture, our capacity for creativity
  2. The 21st century needs the original and useful ideas which flow from creativity now more than ever.
The culprits include more screen time, less unstructured free time and more standardized teaching and testing.

The short answer for more creative kids:
1. Limit screen time and increase play time. Consider reading "Free-Range Kids" or at least a blog posting.
2. Meet with school admins and teachers to discuss developing kids who can think critically. Ask for lessons that have to do with problems in and around the school. Ask about project based learning that teaches across the curriculum. Consider using the Environment as an Integrating Context at or the Teacher's Guide to my "An Environmental Guide from A to Z" found on the Green Sugar Press website.

For kids to thrive in the 21st century, they'll need more than the left side of the brain. Creativity happens when both sides are engaged. And to ensure both sides are working well, the part of the body below the neck needs to get exercise too!

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