Apr 232014

Let’s not kill creativity. From Creativity and Consciousness:

“In 1968, George Land gave 1,600 5-year-olds a creativity test used by NASA to select innovative engineers and scientists. He then re-tested the same children at ages 10 and 15. The test results were staggering! 98% at age 5 registered genius level creativity, 30% at 10 year and 12% at 15 years of age. The same test given to 280,000 adults placed their genius level creativity at only 2% ! In his book ‘Breakpoint and Beyond’, co-authored by Beth Jarman, Land concluded that non-creative behavior is learned”.

The capability to come up with creative solutions to problems at hand makes us and our children thrive in this ever changing world. How can we stem the tide and help our children to keep their genius? I don’t have a study to proof it, but I would venture focusing on multiple choice test with one right answer may have something to do with that loss.

We are to blame too, we have the terrible tendency to treat Lego as three dimensional puzzle pieces. You get the big set and built the Star War Millennium Falcon according to plan. After that you put it on the shelf, or even glue it together. Jen Taylor’s TEDxCC talk is eloquently giving more examples.

What can we do?


Stay away from activities, things and events that have a pre-set outcome, that force you to go down exactly one “right” path.

If you get one of these big lego sets, throw away the plan and create your own death star.

Make up your own games. One framework for that was pointed out to me recently by the amazing Peter Kaminski. It is a game called 1000 Blank White Cards where you literally use a stack of white index cards and create your own game including the rules. It is encouraged to create more cards while playing the game and even change these rules if you like.

What are your open game ideas?

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