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Creativity and Education: NASA Weighs In

NASA has a weighed in when it comes to creativity and education. The theory is actually quite interesting and you are going to want to hear it.

Scientists Dr. George Land and Beth Jarman were contacted by NASA to conduct a specialized creativity test for NASA’s scientists and engineers. The test measured the creativity potential in people who possess those specific types of jobs.

It proved to be very positive for NASA, but left the scientists with a few more questions about creativity. Where does creativity come from? Are some people born with it or is it learned? Or does it come from our experience? The scientists decided to conduct a test of their own. This time it would involve children. 1,000 kids ages 4 years old and 5 years old were given the same test and the results are shocking.

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The test asked the kids to come up with new, different, and innovative ideas to problems. It is a way of testing creative thinking, according to Ideapod who also posted the results. 98% of the kids tested fell into the genius category of imagination, which basically states they were creative geniuses.

It doesn’t end there though. Scientists were so shocked and taken back by the results, they decided to wait and test the same children again five years later. Now this is where it gets really interesting. This time only 30% of children fell into the genius category of imagination. Five years later, the same kids were tested yet again and the percent dropped down to 12%.

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So what does all this testing and percentages mean to those of us who are not scientist? Well, scientist Gavin Nascimento, who published a couple of papers on the subject, basically believes schools dumb us down as we get older, at least in terms of creativity. Kids are not really taught to think outside the box. There are strict ways of figuring out a problem - it is black and white.

Via Ideapod

Land explained adults need to find their inner 5-year-old, who was not afraid to be imaginative and think differently. The older a person gets the more conditioned he or she is to think a certain way, their creativity gets squashed more.

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“If we operate under fear we use a smaller part of the brain, but when we use creative thinking the brain just lights up,” shared Land.

Although it is a little confusing, basically adults need to stop forcing kids to think a certain way or diminish their creativity. Plus, as adults, we need to try and find our inner creativity because apparently everyone is born with it.

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