We Are Born Creative Geniuses and The Education System Dumbs Us Down, Study Reveals

We Are Born Creative Geniuses and The Education System Dumbs Us Down, Study Reveals

In a system that derives “fulfillment” in tearing down people’s attempts at creativity; a society where there are constant expectations and socially-acceptable norms which we must live by; a world where children are taught and motivated with countless fears; the fear of failing subjects or not getting accepted into a particular college — it is normal for people to insist that the educational system is playing a big role in snuffing out our creativity. 

“If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original” – Sir Ken Robinson

For a while, a number of people have come forward with the opinion that traditional western education is designed in a manner that prevents us from getting in touch with our deepest imagination and innate creativity. Until now, there hasn’t been concrete research to back up this postulation. Sir Ken Robinson, for example, in his 2007 TED Talk “Do schools kill creativity” harped on the negative effect that education has on creativity. Think about it. Most of us went through grueling hours and hours of topics that we had no affinity for. To what end?

Thankfully, there’s research to back it up this time. In a study conducted by Dr. George Land and Dr. Beth Jarman, both scientists found that our creativity levels go on a steady decline as we age. The research which was originally meant to measure the creativity of NASA scientists and engineers and identify the potential for creative and divergent thinking soon turned out to be bigger than what was initially intended. [1]

Where does creativity come from?

While the test served its purpose, Dr. Lard and Dr. Jarman were left with a number of questions. Where does creativity come from? Are we born with it or is it learned? Is creativity developed over time? Can it be taught?

Seeking answers, they resolved to administer the test to 1,600 children between the ages of 4 and 5. The test looked at the children’s ability to come up with innovative solutions to problems. Results from this test found that a staggering 98% of them fell into the genius category of imagination.

Stunned by the results, they decided to make it a longitudinal study and tested the same group of children 5 years after the first test. The results showed a massive decline in their level of creativity. Unlike the first test, only 30 percent of the children fell into the genius category of imagination.

Five more years and a test later, the researchers, once again, noticed a further decline — only about 12% of the children had genius-level imagination. The test was also conducted on adults and less than 2% were creative geniuses.

The consistency of these results could only mean one thing:  we go into school as creative geniuses and we leave much less creative than we were going in.

“The reasoning for this is not too difficult to apprehend; school, as we plainly call it, is an institution that has historically been put in place to ultimately serve the wants of the ruling class, not the common people.

In order for the so-called elite to maintain their lavish lifestyles of overt luxury — where they contribute the least but enjoy the most — they understand that children must be dumbed down and brainwashed to accept (and even serve) their rapacious system of artificial scarcity, unending exploitation, and incessant war.[2]

“We’re constantly judging, criticizing, and censoring.”

For the scientists, our dying creativity stems from the constant censoring of our creative imaginations brought on by the system. According to Lard and Beth, the studies showed that there are two kinds of thinking that take place in the brain. The divergent part harbors our unending imagination and generates possibilities. The convergent part, on the other hand, is responsible for making judgments, criticizing, making a decision, evaluating, etc. So while divergent thinking put forth diverse creative solutions, convergent thinking halts our best efforts in its track 

When we actually looking inside the brain we find that neurons are fighting each other and actually diminishing the power of the brain because we’re constantly judging, criticizing, and censoring.

If we operate under fear we use a smaller part of the brain, but when we use creative thinking the brain just lights up, Land said. [3]

Thankfully, we can recover our suppressed creativity. We only need to reach deep within and find that undiluted 5-year-old drive again.

He added that the capability each individual possesses when they were kids doesn’t go away, rather they are suppressed by constant criticism and censoring.  Land, in his 2011 Ted Talk  takes it a step further by motivating us to exercise our creativity daily by dreaming and constantly challenging our brain to come up with innovative ways of carrying out tasks.

Tomorrow, you take a table fork, turn your five-year-old on, and come up with 25 or 30 ideas on how to improve on the table fork,” he added.

References

  1. Are Today’s Youth Less Creative & Imaginative?Live Science. Rachael Rettner. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  2. As Children’s Freedom Has Declined, So Has Their Creativity.Psychology Today. Peter Gray Ph.D. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  3. This Is What Happens When We Close Doors On Creativity In The Classroom.Forbes. Robyn D. Shulman. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  4. Do schools kill creativity?YouTube. Ken Robinson. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  5. The Failure Of Success.” YouTube. George Land. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
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