Saturday, July 24, 2010
There seems to be information all over the news and internet about creativity and the lack of it in our young people. I recently read a Newsweek article on this very subject. Researchers blamed the current video game craze as one factor and that may be part of the problem however as a teacher and veteran educator my thoughts are that another factor is the insistence of the government and society to see our test scores raised continually higher and higher and basing school funding on those test scores. I don’t think that this is necessarily a bad thing but when it inhibits the amount of time that classroom teachers have to spend encouraging and planning creative thinking activities then it becomes a problem. Teachers are under a huge amount of pressure to continually raise test scores often to the detriment of something else. Due to this continued pressure teachers spend additional time drilling and practicing basic skills as well as test taking strategies in addition to dealing with added curriculum, behavior and social issues. Naturally something has to give and that is often creative activities. We’ve always been a nation of creative thinkers, that is how our nation became such a force to be reckoned with and I hate to see the creative process removed from the curriculum. I’ve always been fascinated with creativity and how it impacts our lives and learning and have spent my career being heavily involved with promoting creative thinking and creative activities for children in both the art room, classroom, and promoting higher level thinking skills for gifted and talented children. I like to stay on top of the current reserch that is being put out on the brain and creativivity and recently read a study done by John's Hopkins on brain research and the need for creative activities and how these stimulate areas of the brain. It is fascinating reading and I'd encourage any of you who are interested to take a look at the research coming out, not only does it have implications for the educational community but also for the artistic community. The research is suggesting that creativity can be inheriant to the individual but also can be a learned process through artistic and creative activities which suggests that we can learn to draw, paint, sculpt at any age. Think about it.