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Can Student Creativity Be Saved?

Wall St. Journal Work and Family columnist Sue Shellenbarger points to data showing that kids' scores on the commonly used Torrance creativity test dropped steadily from 1990 to 2008. The blame, she says, lies both in and out of school:

Researchers believe growth in the time kids spend on computers and watching TV, plus a trend in schools toward rote learning and standardized testing, are crowding out the less structured activities that foster creativity.

Shellenbarger conveys some interesting advice for parents interested in boosting their childrens' creativity. It's hard not to see it as applicable to teachers as well:

[Many parents] are challenging [their kids] to generate new ideas or encouraging them to notice problems in the world around them and research possible solutions. By tolerating "wrong" answers or allowing their children to live in a fantasy world for a while, parents can put off the emphasis on skill-building and achievement, researchers say.


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