Schools Aren’t Creative

A few weeks ago I reported:

In forming my view that school functions in part to help folks accept workplace domination, I rediscovered the view of the ‘76 book Schooling In Capitalist America:

Here is some evidence from that book:

Getzels and Jackson … subjected a group of 449 high school students to an IQ test and a battery of exams which purport to measure creativity. They found no appreciable correlation between measured IQ and measured creativity. The top 20 percent in IQ on the one hand, and in creativity on the other, were singled out and asked to rank certain personality traits (a) on the degree to which they would like to have these traits, and (b) on the degree to which they believed teachers would like the student to have. … While the high IQs “preferred traits” correspond closely to their perception of the teachers’ values, the high creatives’ ranking of preferred traits was actually inversely related to the perceived teachers’ ranking. The high creatives do not fail to conform; rather they do not wish to conform. …

[Our] review of this literature … support[s] the following interpretation. Students are rewarded for exhibiting discipline, subordinacy, intellectually as opposed to emotionally oriented behavior, and hard work independent from intrinsic task motivation. Moreover, these traits are rewarded independently of any effect of “proper demeanor” on scholastic achievement. …

John L. Holland undertook a study of the determinants of high school success among a group of 639 National Merit Scholarship finalists. … While the group’s high academic rank is doubtless related to their above-average IQs, difference in scholastic achievement among them were not significantly related to their grades. … Many of the personality variables were significantly and positively related to grades. Most important were teachers’ ratings of the students’ Citizenship and the students’ self-evalution of Drive to Achieve. Neither of these variables and any significant impact on actual achievement measures! …

Students who are ranked by their teachers as high on Citizenship and Drive to Achieve are indeed more likely to be diligent … and socially popular … But they are, in fact, significantly below average on measures of creativity and mental flexibility. … These same traits of creativity and mental flexibility are directly penalized in terms of school grades, holding constant test scores, Citizenship, and Drive to Achieve. (p40,41)

This all fits with my Myth of Creativity oped. The modern economy doesn’t want much creativity; it instead rewards self-control (= social control).

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