Are We Wringing the Creativity Out of Kids?
Do you think you’re creative?” Ask this question of a group of second-graders, and about 95 percent of them will answer “Yes.” Three years later, when the kids are in fifth grade, that proportion will drop to 50 percent—and by the time they’re seniors in high school, it’s down to 5 percent. Author Jonah Lehrer recently discussed the implications of these sobering statistics for education in his new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works. In a talk and question-and-answer session he participated in at the Commonwealth Club in Palo Alto, California, last month, Lehrer talked about why children lose their playful sense of creativity as they get older, and how we can help them hang on to it. Lehrer began by quoting Picasso: “Every child is born an artist. “Right now we are grooming our kids to think in a very particular way, which assumes that the right way to be thinking is to be attentive, to stare straight ahead.” Related