Why Today's Kids Are Less Creative

Creativity has recently decreased among American schoolchildren, says a recent study. Since 1990, children have become less able to produce unique and unusual ideas.

What's the Latest Development?

Since 1990, children have become less creative and are increasingly unable to produce unique and unusual ideas, says a study led by Kyung Hee Kim, a creativity researcher at the College of William and Mary. Using the Torrance test, which measure creativity through drawing an idea, creativity scores have fallen consistently while S.A.T. scores have risen at approximately the same rate. According to Kim, today's schoolchildren are also less humorous, less imaginative and less able to elaborate on ideas. 

What's the Big Idea?

Why are our children increasingly less creative? Because more classroom time is devoted to teaching to standardized testing parameters, says Kim: "I believe No Child Left Behind ... really hurt creativity. If we just focus on just No Child Left Behind—testing, testing, testing—then how can creative students survive?" To encourage creativity in students, they need play time. When children pretend, engaging elements of fantasy, insight and emotional expression, more creative thinking patterns develop. 

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