Creativity and… Sudbury Valley School

Interesting article on the decline of creativity in the US (from Newsweek recently…)

“Those who came up with more good ideas on Torrance’s tasks grew up to be entrepreneurs, inventors, college presidents, authors, doctors, diplomats, and software developers. Jonathan Plucker of Indiana University recently reanalyzed Torrance’s data. The correlation to lifetime creative accomplishment was more than three times stronger for childhood creativity than childhood IQ.”

“When scholars gave creativity tasks to both engineering majors and music majors, their scores laid down on an identical spectrum, with the same high averages and standard deviations. Inside their brains, the same thing was happening—ideas were being generated and evaluated on the fly.”

“highly creative adults tended to grow up in families embodying opposites. ”

“highly creative adults frequently grew up with hardship”

“those high in creative self-efficacy had more confidence about their future and ability to succeed. They were sure that their ability to come up with alternatives would aid them, no matter what problems would arise.”

“A lifetime of consistent habits gradually changes the neurological pattern.”

“Since [1990], creativity scores have consistently inched downward. “It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,” Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America—from kindergarten through sixth grade—for whom the decline is “most serious.””

LINK: The Creativity Crisis (Newsweek)

Wow. Of course I see everything with Sudbury Valley School tinted glasses, so yes, this last quote tells me it is even more important to get your kids to SVS or another Sudbury Valley School on the double when they are still in elementary school. No need to wait until they are getting progressively more miserable in Middle School/Junior High/High School.

Suggested is a “creativity class” because of the studies showing that creativity can be “taught”. But I’m not sure why a class since all it seemed to really say is that very accomplished people in any field or sport are able to improvise better.

Also suggested are “team projects”. But what if you are not interested in working on a proposal for how to reduce noise in the library (an example from the article). Too bad! I guess that’s why I like SVS over other alternatives like project-based curriculum. You are free to do as you wish. Not free within a pre-set outline of acceptable topics or things to be doing. Really free. Sounds like a good breeding ground for creativity to me!

That said, in the end I think one’s family situation has a lot to do with this stuff. I don’t expect schools to raise kids, and as found in the article, family circumstances and environments had a definite impact.

OK, that’s all I wanted to say. Interesting article.


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