3 Great Thinkers On Creativity - And What Their Words Could Mean for Our Education System
America is historically known for being on the forefront of creativity and innovation. However, with standardized test scores becoming the metric for our student’s success, creativity has taken a backseat in our education system. This shift of focus to rigid academic measurement fails our students by incentivizing them to become “good enough” to function in our society, leaving their unique talents unattended.
However, there is a better way. If we shift our focus to instilling a creative style of learning and expression, we’ll end up with a happier and more effective workforce filled with individuals who are excited to apply themselves every day in a way that takes advantage of their own unique talents and passions.
Great Thinkers on Creativity
We at Brackitz are not alone in thinking that creativity deserves a seat of high importance. Below, I’ll share the wisdom of some great thinkers on creativity - as well as what their words could mean for our education system.
Albert Einstein’s name is synonymous with “High IQ”. But what truly separated Einstein from other physicists and mathematicians with a similar level of raw intelligence was his creative capacity - a capacity that, studies have shown, operates completely independently of IQ (Heilman, K. M. 2005).
For example, as noted in our previous article on spatial skills, Albert Einstein formulated his theories of relativity after mentally subjecting himself a battery of hypothetical scenarios, including imagining chasing a beam of light. He also used his imagination to visually solve complex mathematical proofs, such as the Pythagorean theorem. These are all examples not of IQ but of creative visualization.
If we were to reformulate the place of creativity in education based on these quotes by Einstein, we would place more emphasis on developing imagination and creative problem-solving abilities in our students, as well as teaching students how to educate themselves so they may overcome creatively and in a self-reliant way.
Seth Godin is an internationally recognized business-executive-turned-bestselling-author, known for the non-traditional philosophies that have made him successful as an entrepreneur and loved as a leader.
In 2012, Godin published “Stop Stealing Dreams (What Is School For?)”, a manifesto about education reform in which he takes issue with the fact that schools in America nowadays are designed as factories to pump out manual workers - whether they be neurosurgeons or architects. While this style of education filled a need in the past, Godin argues, we have since moved past this and into a piece of more information and creative-driven economy.
Godin, therefore, defends student’s rights to individual creativity, stating that he as a business owner would much rather higher people who understand how to innovate, lead, and think creatively than he would individuals who have simply passed standardized tests and are good at obeying orders.
In his now-famous 2012 treatise, Godin notes the following:
“As long as we embrace (or even accept) standardized testing, fear of science, little attempt at teaching leadership, and most of all, the bureaucratic imperative to turn education into a factory itself, we’re in big trouble.”
In redesigning our education system based on Godin’s philosophies, one might imagine a system in which students are encouraged to lead one another, take creative risks, and develop a sense of independence and creativity that would make them a valuable asset to our rapidly developing economy.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is world-renowned positive psychologist and author of “Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention”, among other books. While much of Mihaly’s work is focused on accessing a creative “flow” state that lends itself to a superior quality of work and spontaneous innovation, let's shift our focus to a different benefit of creativity: Happiness.
Mihaly is quoted as saying that “A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe”. And he’s absolutely right. All benefits to society aside, providing a creative education for our students will give them a sense of belonging and well-being (Wright, P. R., & Pascoe, R. 2015), as well as the capacity to build a life for themselves of their own choosing - one full of joy, spontaneity, and contribution.
Inspiring Creativity in the Classroom with Brackitz
These experts are not alone in their desire to see more creativity in our nation’s youth; We at Brackitz feel the same way! That’s why we’ve created a versatile, creative and flexible construction system that allows students to begin developing their creative capacities from a young age.
Brackitz educational toy construction systems are a fun and inventive way for students to develop and demonstrate their creative abilities and can be seamlessly integrated into existing lesson plans. Start using Brackitz and open up your students and children to a future full of creativity and opportunity today.