CRF Blog

The Creativity Crisis

by Bill Hayes

Newsweek has a great article this week: The Creativity Crisis: For the first time research shows that American creativity is declining, what went wrong—and how we can fix it.

This article has been circulating around the office, and it has been suggested by several readers. The article tells how researchers test for creativity, that Americans’ creativity is declining, that American schools (unlike those in other nations) are doing little to encourage creativity, that creativity consists of a combination of convergent and divergent thinking, that, yes, creativity can be taught, and that creativity is not limited to the arts (which we are not teaching much of anymore), but is necessary in all areas. The article points to what curriculum writers and teachers should be doing to encourage creativity. That summary hardly does the article justice.

An excerpt from the article:

The potential consequences are sweeping. The necessity of human ingenuity is undisputed. A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 “leadership competency” of the future. Yet it’s not just about sustaining our nation’s economic growth. All around us are matters of national and international importance that are crying out for creative solutions, from saving the Gulf of Mexico to bringing peace to Afghanistan to delivering health care. Such solutions emerge from a healthy marketplace of ideas, sustained by a populace constantly contributing original ideas and receptive to the ideas of others.