Newsweek just published a report by Po Bronson and Ashley Merriman on the “Creativity Crisis.” For the first time since creativity testing was developed, scores in the U.S. are dropping. No one knows why (although television and video games are given the inevitable mention), and why isn’t the authors’ focus: instead, they set out to figure out what schools and parents could do to nurture creativity in kids. It’s a persuasive piece, and from my position as a privileged parent (if your kids had breakfast this morning and a safe place to sleep last night, you’re there tooâ€”20% of kids in the U.S. are living in poverty, and probably had neither) I’m planning to implement some of the ideas at home and send the article off to my kids’ school.
But click on the next trending article on the Newsweek page, (Should Seniority Count in Teacher Layoffs?) and it’s hard to miss the irony. The kids at the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame School in Akron, Ohio are developing proposals for how to reduce the noise in their library. The kids in some Los Angeles schools will be drumming up ideas for learning with faculty reductions of 50-70%. Other projects are on the horizon across the country: How can we work with five extra kids per classroom?
Read the rest on Slate‘s XX Factor.