Falling Creativity

I’ve argued “school functions in part to help folks accept workplace domination,” said modern workplaces don’t reward creativity, and cited evidence that schools discourage creativity:

Creativity and mental flexibility are directly penalized in terms of school grades, holding constant test scores, Citizenship, and Drive to Achieve.

So I’m not surprised to learn creativity has been falling for decades:

In the 50 years since Schwarzrock and the others took their tests, scholars … have been tracking the children. … After analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward.

HT to Alex, who is skeptical:  “I am not at all convinced that creativity is on the decline.” Me, I’m surprised the decline didn’t start earlier.  More tidbits on creativity:

A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 “leadership competency” of the future. … The age-old belief that the arts have a special claim to creativity is unfounded. When scholars gave creativity tasks to both engineering majors and music majors, their scores laid down on an identical spectrum. … Preschool children, on average, ask their parents about 100 questions a day. Why, why, why—sometimes parents just wish it’d stop. Tragically, it does stop. By middle school they’ve pretty much stopped asking. It’s no coincidence that this same time is when student motivation and engagement plummet. … When creative children have a supportive teacher—someone tolerant of unconventional answers, occasional disruptions, or detours of curiosity—they tend to excel. When they don’t, they tend to underperform and drop out of high school or don’t finish college at high rates.

CEOs may give it lip service to creativity, but their actions speak much louder than their words. Most (not all) workplaces punish creativity, and while that situation remains most schools will drill it out of kids as well.

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