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July 24th, 2010 The other day I came upon an article in Newsweek that truly caught my interest. The article was titled “The Creativity Crisis” and the headline read “For the first time reasearcg shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong – and how can we fix it.” As I read the article it occured to me the writer’s statement was just not correct. There is plenty of creativity today in America and from Americans, it’s just that past generation fails to recognize the new gereration’s creative contributions.
Years ago creativity was defined by invention of mechanical products. The the cotton gin, the telephone and the assembly line were regarded as creative feats, which they were. Today, video games are more complex than ever, televison shows and feature films are less formulaic than in the past, and art expands far beyond the canvas. Americans are constantly looking to break new ground and explore what has not been yet discovered.
While it has been asked, what changed creativity in America, there are a few areas to visit in our educational system. From an early age children are asked to color within the lines and are graded for such. The better grades go to those who stay within the lines. But it is those who see no boundries that are expressing their creativity in another way.
The article in Newsweek continued to focus on the educational system in our country as well, noting that with the packed curriculum there is very little time for creative classes. Art and music departments are being cut and replaced with higher level math and English courses. Our children are being educated, but only to fit into corporate America.
As I read on it was mentioned that a prime leadership requirement is creativity. With all that is focused every day within our schools you would think we would be preserving the creative courses somehow. But then again, why would we – the education system in our country has been designed to help children grow into adults who fit into society’s little box. But leaders are born, not taught. To bring America’s creativity back we just have to begin to accept those that do differently than we do and appreciate their efforts.
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