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Xochi Hopwood, Staff Writer

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Since this article is about creativity, this should be a creative opening right? However, I have been racking my brain just to come up with one creative idea for the introduction. Although it doesn’t sound that hard, it has truly proven itself a challenge. Coming up with new ideas should not be so challenging, but for most kids across the nation creativity is a weak point. Ever since 1990, students scores for the standard creativity test have been plummeting, giving the trend the name “The Creativity Crisis.” While around the world countries are making creativity a top priority in their education system, our nation has remained with its systematic ways. Changing the education system to encourage creativity, instead of diminishing it, would make students more successful in their individual lives.

Curiosity is one of a human’s innate natures, as shown through the fact that on average preschool children ask their parents around 100 questions a day, according to an article in Newsweek.  By the time these once curious preschool children reach middle school, however, motivation and fascination in their classes drastically decrease. As described in an article by Newsweek, “They didn’t stop asking questions because they lost interest: it’s the other way around. They lost interest because they stopped asking questions.” With high pressures on teachers to have students score well on standardized testing for example, it limits any flexibility to angle lessons more towards the class’ personal interests. Therefore, students that are curious about particular topics are discouraged from going off the rigid school curriculum to ask a question. A professor at California State University, James Kaufmen, states that creativity is neurological pattern that can be taught. Therefore, if teachers were given more flexibility in the classroom then a student’s creative and curious nature could flourish.

Currently the most watched Ted Talk, the speaker Ken Robinson gives the audience insight into the reasons behind the decline of creativity among children. One of his major points was that classes in schools are rigidly timed which directly stops any flow of creativity. Having an average class time of forty minutes, schools are able to fit in more classes. However, forty minutes is not enough time to allow students to be assigned a hard critical thinking problem that they will then have to work through to solve. Shown in the latest education research, feeling “stuck” by a problem helps students remember the content better. Clearly, having students remember the information is a key aspect of learning, so if class periods were longer this aspect of a student’s educational experience would be greatly improved. In another point made by Robinson, the education system openly favors subjects that relate to math or science, repressing the creativity that comes from the humanities and arts. While math and science subjects are of great importance, those who are favorable in the arts are not being given a fair chance at expressing their creativity and strengths. Overall, it is time for our education system to prioritize creativity by changing the length and subject focus in classes.

Fact or Fiction: Creative people are not nearly as successful as those with a high IQ. Answer to this? All fiction. In fact, as seen through famous innovators and leaders creativity is vital component to their success. A poll was taken asking 1,500 CEOs what the most important quality in a leader was, and creativity ranked number one. After all, if some of the most experienced and accomplished leaders value creativity highly, shouldn’t it be an important value for schools to establish in the rising generation of this country? Furthermore, creativity is needed to solve complex issues with original ideas that organizations face. Even beyond the workforce, creativity is desperately needed to solve current environmental issues, one example being how to reduce water usage with the multiple droughts that have been occurring all over the country. Clearly, creativity is an extremely useful skill to possess and having it incorporated into our classrooms would have a positive impact on students futures. Along with producing original ideas, creativity increases confidence, flexibility and diversity. On a study done on 1,500 middle schoolers, it was “found that those high in creative self efficacy had more confidence about their future and ability to succeed.” Ultimately, creativity is a valued characteristic to have for confident and successful leaders and therefore should be valued in our education system.

Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” If we don’t not start to push for changes for our education system to incorporate creativity in classes starting at young ages, then creativity will continue to spiral downwards. With some changes made to our nation’s schools, students will finally begin to remain the creative and successful individuals that we were born to be.

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