Posts Tagged ‘Creativity Crisis’

High School Dropouts and the decline of routine work.

18 Aug

Stamford, Connecticut has put together a task-force of 300 local business, political, and social leaders. This organization is called ‘Reinventing Stamford.’

One of their first publicized reports, ‘Pivot Point,’ highlights local, regional, and national issues that are being faced, and begins to propose solutions. One of the major issues is the state of educating our workforce, increasing their ability to handle the known issues of today and the unknown issues of the future.

In the graphic below, from Pivot Point, you can see the dramatic shift that has occurred in the task content of jobs from 1980 to 1998. Every level of education has seen at least a 10% increased in non-routine cognitive / interactive work. This type of work demands a high Creativity Quotient and ability to practice both convergent and divergent thinking… to understand all the variables affecting a situation and help come up with solutions which make the most of the resources at hand. This is exactly the type of skill that America is losing today, as highlighted in our article on America’s Creativity Crisis.

Change in Task Content of Jobs. This graph shows the change in task content of jobs, by the education level of the worker, from 1980 to 1998. The highest percentage increase towards expert thinking [Non-Routine Cognitive/Analytical] and Complex Communication [Non-Routine Cognitive/Interactive] were in jobs held by workers with only a high-school diploma. Source Murnane and Levy. Routine Cognitive, Routine Manual, Non-Routing Manual, Non-Routine Cognitive-Analytic, Non-Routing Cognitive / Interactive, Annualized Change in Task Measure, High School Dropouts, High School Grads, Some College, College Grads

Research on drawing shows that it is a great way to build up your QC and increase convergent and divergent thinking. So go ahead, and start practicing, and help expose others to working creatively.

Take a look at ‘Pivot Point‘ pages 14 and 15 to learn more.

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Creativity can be taught: Averting the Creativity Crisis.

17 Aug

Newsweek recently ran an article titled, ‘The Creativity Crisis.’

The authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman describe how America’s K-6 students are scoring dramatically lower in their Creativity Quotient (QC). This is startling because the correlation between lifetime creative output (books, software, successful companies…) and QC is three times strong than that for IQ. As we are gearing our schools for rote memorization to raise student IQ, we’re losing focus on their QC… the ability to relearn facts and rethink  problems in our constantly changing world.

The good news is, ‘Creativity can be taught,’ says James C. Kaufman, professor at California State University, San Bernardino. The article states ‘Real improvement doesn’t happen in a weekend workshop. But when applied to the everyday process of work or school, brain function improves.’

The National Inventors Hall of Fame School in Akron, Ohio tramples the limits of American education, the system creating our creativity crisis. 5th graders nationwide are required by curriculum to memorize information about sound waves and practice persuasive writing. The Akron school sets up activities for students to develop solutions to real problems, such as how to limit the noise coming into the library through the street-facing windows. “ ‘You never see our kids saying, ‘I’ll never use this so I don’t need to learn it,’ ‘ says school administrator Maryann Wolowiec. ‘Instead, kids ask, ‘Do we have to leave school now?’ ‘ ”

This is the reason Amy and I started Drawing Down the Vision. The creativity crisis exists not only in America’s lower schools, but also in its most successful companies. Our world is seeing new problem’s never before faced which demand creativity and leadership from all its citizens. While we teach Drawing Down the Vision through our three-hour workshop, it is really just an intro to a process you will apply each and every day of your life to practice and continue living and learning creatively.

We hope our writings here are helping to drive up the world’s QC.

Participants in the study were asked to take blank pages with random shapes and turn them into a story. Here, a bunch of triangles turns into 'James Joyce in a Confessional.'

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