Is Stifling Creativity in the Classroom Preventing Future Problem Solvers? Excerpts: "Dr. Mae C. Jemison, an American physician and NASA astronaut, correctly noted that the “majority of scientists say they developed their passion for science by age 11. That means that the educational experience children have in grade school profoundly impacts our nation’s ability to graduate a prepared STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] work force.”"
"Look at any truly stunning innovation and you’ll find creativity at play. Inspiring our students to think creatively while being trained in a specific discipline is vital for our country’s growth and development. But here is the sobering reality: according to researchers, scores on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (the standard test used to measure creativity, akin to IQ tests for measuring intelligence) have been declining in the U.S. during the past two decades, with the most significant decline among kindergartners through sixth graders. This leads to a fundamental question: Is our education system stifling creativity in today’s children, preventing them from becoming the world’s future creative problem solvers? Some argue that the decline in creativity may be caused by excess media consumption, because students are spending countless hours interacting with smart phones, video games and television. Others may argue standardized testing or other root causes. However, a fundamental fact remains: most children spend the majority of their day in a highly structure, perhaps overly ridged learning environment. How are we supporting teachers and equipping classrooms in the battle to preserve the child’s inherent and natural curiosity?“