How the school system systematically destroys child creativity.
A test, initially developed by NASA but later used on school children to test creativity has revealed how the potential for all of us to be creative geniuses is quashed by the education system.
NASA needed a foolproof test to measure the creativity and intelligence of their scientists and engineers, and so they developed a creativity test to ascertain where creativity comes from, are we born with it or is it something that can be learned?
After proving successful on the NASA engineers, researchers decided to turn the test on children, they tested 1,600 four and five year olds, a whopping 98% of children proved that they had the ability to be creative geniuses.
At such a young age, the results dumbfounded the researchers. If so many young children had this wonderful potential, where does it go? 98% of the adult population do not display characteristics of being creative geniuses so a change must occur between childhood and adulthood which stamps this talent out of us.
The results show that by the age of fifteen, the number of children who pass as a ‘creative genius’ falls to just 2%.
Dr Land points out that this is due to the failings of the school system. He says that there are two different types of thinking – convergent thinking and divergent thinking.
Convergent thinking is the ability to think critically and to judge ideas, this happens in your conscious thinking. Divergent thinking is the ability to imagine new ideas out of nothing, the ability to be creative, this happens in your unconscious thinking.
Dr. Land states that the two types of thinking cannot be used in unison with each other, but that the school system teaches that you must – this confuses children and makes one type of thinking overrule the other.
In order to give children a chance of maintaining their creative ability Dr. Land stresses that children should not be made to use their minds in such a conflicted way.
‘When we actually look inside the brain we find that neurons are fighting each other and actually diminishing the power of the brain because we’re constantly judging, criticizing, censoring’
‘If we operate under fear we use a smaller part of the brain, but when we use creative thinking the brain just lights up’.