In his blog post, “We are born creative geniuses and the education system dumbs us down, according to NASA scientist” , [Link] Engles reports on a TedxtalkTuscon by Dr. George Land. He explains that NASA scientists developed a test to measure the creative potential of their scientists and engineers.
When the same test was given to 4 and 5 year old children, they found that 98 percent of young children qualify as creative geniuses! However, five years later only 30 percent qualified at the genius level. When the same children were 15 years old, only 12 percent qualified.
Land postulates the reason for the dramatic drop in creative potential is purposely designed into the educational system so as to perpetuate social-class division. The rich and powerful understand that students must be dumbed-down so as to accept the arbitrary and unjust social constructs which allow the rich and powerful to maintain their status.
So what is the solution? Land suggests the loss in creativity is the result of a focus on convergent thinking- judgement, evaluation, and criticism. He proposes creativity could be cultivated by instead focusing on divergent, imaginative, creative thinking. Instead of teaching our children to submit to an objective reality, we can allow our children wonder, experiment, and enjoy the world.