The Creativity Crisis

A generation struggles with imagination

Kyung Hee Kim, professor of education at the College of William and Mary, conducted an experiment that analyzed creativity in children. The children were told to do something creative with several stimuli in order to see how well the children included originality, meaningfulness and humor. According to Kim’s research, the biggest decline recently is in the ability to assess a particular idea and expand on it in an interesting and novel way.

Creativity has declined drastically in the past three decades due to society’s reliance on instant information.

Today’s generation relies heavily on immediate and direct answers to their problems, leaving them at a loss in the working world which might require them to problem solve. Even outside of school, children prefer to spend their time watching television, playing video games, or texting friends, which leaves little room to make mistakes on their own. The result: children who are content with people doing things for them.

In the real world few questions have one right answer, few problems have one right solution – that’s why creativity is crucial to success in the real world. But more and more the state is subjecting children to an educational system that assumes one right answer to every question and one correct solution to every problem, a system that punishes children (and their teachers, too) for daring to try different routes, such as the standardized use of the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR).

Society should begin emphasizing tools such as guided play and creative curriculums in schools, thus encouraging students to think for themselves by allowing more time to think on their own.