Thursday, October 9th, 2008...11:36 am
Where Does Creativity Go?
CEO, The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning
Several years ago at the National School Boards Association’s Technology and Learning conference in Denver, I heard a talk by Sir Ken Robinson, a British ex-patriot now living in California. Sir Ken’s philosophy is that creativity should be as important a priority in schools as literacy.
One of the most powerful bits of information he shared is that essentially children lose their creativity when they “become educated.” He cites a study in divergent thinking… which is an element of creativity - the ability to find different answers to questions, to adapt, to be flexible, to come up with new ideas. When 1,600 youngsters age 3-5 are tested, 98% achieve a score that makes them a genius in divergent thinking. Five years later, same kids, same test, 32% achieve a score that is considered genius level in divergent thinking. Give exactly the same test to the same kids another 5 years later, when they are 13-15 and the number drops to 10%. The control group is 200,000 adults… age 25 or older… where the “genius” level is found in only 2%.
Where has all the capacity of young people gone? Sir Ken suggests it’s the education system that teaches “right answers” and not taking risks. Here’s the speech.