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Education United States Science News

The Creativity Crisis 571

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from an article at Newsweek: "For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. ... Like intelligence tests, Torrance's test — a 90-minute series of discrete tasks, administered by a psychologist — has been taken by millions worldwide in 50 languages. Yet there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect — each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling. Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this in May, after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. 'It's very clear, and the decrease is very significant,' Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America — from kindergarten through sixth grade — for whom the decline is 'most serious.'"
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The Creativity Crisis

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  • Play time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:28AM (#32865980)
    Shocking, who'd've thought that standardized testing, eliminating recess and general free time would have consequences. Perhaps actually letting kids play would help that.
  • by Myji Humoz ( 1535565 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:37AM (#32866032)
    From the article:

    "It’s too early to determine conclusively why U.S. creativity scores are declining. One likely culprit is the number of hours kids now spend in front of the TV and playing videogames rather than engaging in creative activities. Another is the lack of creativity development in our schools. In effect, it’s left to the luck of the draw who becomes creative: there’s no concerted effort to nurture the creativity of all children."

    One of the test questions was “How could you improve this toy to make it better and more fun to play with?”

    If you went to the average TV viewer and asked them what could make their T.V. shows better, I sincerely doubt that they could give a succinct and "creative" set of ideas that would improve various shows. If you asked a video gamer for say an MMO like WoW or even a browser game like Farmville what suggestions they have to improve the games, you would probably have to gag them to get them to shut up. For video game fans, new ideas (some of them quite creative workarounds) are a dime a dozen, and the challenge is filtering them to find the best ideas for how to gear/play a character or how to run a farm.

    Video games are almost perpetually linked with television by virtue of being activities in which one sits down in front of a glowing screen, but video games tend to be highly interactive with constant feedback/user response while television is nearly 100% passive. (American Idol voting doesn't count) I would agree that the increase of mindshare and time devoted to passive pursuits could decrease creativity, but I really wish that the media would, as a group, get a better idea of how different video games and television shows are. The difference between games and t.v. is the difference between using a kitchen knife to chop vegetables and using a kitchen knife to stab people, yet again, video games are taking more blame for making our kids less creative than the school systems' standardized tests and performance obsessed culture.
  • by paper tape ( 724398 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:39AM (#32866040)
    The inevitable result of being taught to accept everything they are taught without question, rather than being taught the basics and critical thinking, is that students mostly stop asking important questions. Even if they do ask, they depend on someone else to provide "the one true answer" - because they don't have the tools to arrive at a useful answer on their own.
  • Re:Play time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:40AM (#32866046) Homepage

    Unsupervised 'play' is far too dangerous for little snowflake. Think of the lawsuits.

  • by jsepeta ( 412566 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:46AM (#32866088) Homepage

    rather than playing using our imaginations, most kids prefer to watch tv or play video games. both of these activities are the act of media Consumption, and not of using their own imagination. when i was a kid (now i sound like an old man), my folks would kick my brother and i out of the house and tell us to play until supper time. this meant playing cops and robbers or army man or explorer or maybe some baseball and football. aside from sports, we had to use our imagination a lot - LARPing for normals. of course by the time i was 15 I preferred playing D&D and reading books, which meant less time outside and more time PRETENDING and using my imagination.

    that's why I started playing D&D with my daughter when she turned 8. she loves to read and we have a lot of fun in our campaign. we're always using our imaginations when we play, as opposed to when she's sitting at the computer playing her FLASH games.

  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:47AM (#32866092)
    There is no creativity required or recommended on these exams

    So what? School only lasts a few hours a day. What are you doing for the hours, days, and months between classes to actually make a difference? Creativity is fostered in a big-picture way. Kids will bring creativity to their school work and opportunities if it's a solid part of the environment and circumstances in which they're raised.

    Creativity is declining because parents are washing their hands of the responsibility to shape the minds of their own kids. You don't get an inquisitive, creative mind at school - you arrive at school with one.
  • by neongrau ( 1032968 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:51AM (#32866118)
    especially in the last years parents pumping their kids full of behavior adjusting drugs? Ritalin maybe?
  • Video Games? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tthomas48 ( 180798 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:53AM (#32866130) Homepage

    Video Games and TV are the same. Video Games may require more creativity than TV, but it's substantially less than anything else. I'm a programmer by trade and I program and write plays in my free time. Video Games are a more active vegging than watching TV, but they're still something I do when I've burned out my creative capacity for the night, not something that uses that capacity.

  • by drewhk ( 1744562 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:53AM (#32866132)

    Creativity tests... heh. Most of these tests are completely ridiculous.

    I remember one of these tests where totally stupid answers were given points, just because they are "original". I hate people that think of themselves as "creative", yet, they cannot come up with something PRACTICALLY USEFUL. You can be "very original" and "totally irrelevant" at the same time. For me, creativity means original and usable (in a broad sense -- amusing, entertaining, enthralling, etc count as useful, too).

    I hate even more those people that cry "all these rules just hamper my creativity". Again, bullshit! Limitations often stimulate creativity. Puzzles are all about limits on the solution space. Many writers, painters, poems made up artificial limits for themselves, just to see, what can they do within those limitations. Also, any engineer has to think inside some box, as the final result has to be useful and relevant to the problem at hand. Physicists are limited by the laws of nature -- still, many physicists are very creative -- especially because they have to use seemingly limiting laws to their benefit. Hacking is also a great example where the whole process is about seemingly bending the limits, but you really stay inside them, you just discover ways that were unexpected to be existing inside that "box". Logic is also a limitation. Are you original just because you deny logic? Sometimes yes (in these cases you end up with an augmented logic), but most of the times, no.

    Rant off.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:53AM (#32866134)

    No one who is directly involved in the education of children should wash their hands of teaching creativity. Creativity should be fostered at home and at school and teachers should be very much aware of that.

    A part of the problem is that schools focus too much on finding solutions to problems. That's a critical part of problem solving, but the much more crucial part is formulating the problem in the first place. That's a creative process and what is completely missed by teaching to standards.

  • by arthurpaliden ( 939626 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:54AM (#32866138)
    In order to ensure childres safety they are placed and encuraged stay in secuer safe 'creative' environments. Classic example, who here below tha age of 50 has every seen or even played with a 'real' chemistry set.
  • I blame TV! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Elrac ( 314784 ) <.moc.zcirtoms. .ta. .lrac.> on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:55AM (#32866144) Homepage Journal

    If some evil mad scientist were to undertake building a device to systematically destroy creative thinking in humans, I doubt he could do better than the TV programming of this past decade.

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:56AM (#32866146) Journal

    Without conformity, there is no order
    Without creativity, there is no enjoyment

    We need both, but "success" in society requires a minimum level of bookish competence. I think our definition of success (middle class lifestyle, as practiced in the US) has outstripped the intellectual ability of the average human. Nonetheless, we keep focusing on drilling them with facts that we think will get people into jobs which will provide them with food, shelter, healthcare, and recreation they expect. The constant race to be at the top of the list of countries who rank high in student achievement - as measured by standardized fact testing - also drives this.

    Sadly, there is no way to mimic the "best" school districts for well rounded children who also perform well on tests. No matter what they do, those districts have parents who are active in their childrens' schooling. No federal or state mandate can make that happen in a district with parents who just don't care. So we put on the screws to make the kids test scores hit a specific number, regardless of the consequences. The result is what we see today.

  • Re:Play time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Third Position ( 1725934 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:59AM (#32866166)

    Well, I don't really think the article tells us enough to come to any conclusions. Obviously, the population of America in 2010 is very different from the population in 1960. I'd like to see the demographics amplified. What is the socio-economic background of the creative? What parts of the country do they come from? Where and how have they been educated? What is the correlation to race/class? What kind of family relationships do they have? How does parental participation influence creativity?

    I'm not getting the feeling there's a lot of helpful information here.

  • by Monsieur Canard ( 766354 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:59AM (#32866168)

    This is yet another example of the dangers inherent in over-parenting. "Don't climb that tree!" "Don't find out what dirt tastes like!" "Don't take the toy apart!"

    This naturally evolves into the adult version. "Don't take pictures of that bridge!" "Don't try to find out what's behind that wall!" "Don't question anything your leaders tell you!"

    It's all part of the plan.

  • by Tisha_AH ( 600987 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:00AM (#32866174) Journal

    Education in America today is focused almost exclusively on memorizing the tests that will be used to determine school performance. Little emphasis is placed upon creative thinking, deductive logic or expression.

    It is no surprise that we are turning out "trained rats" who can perform a specific set of tasks to pass a test but do not have adequate skills to function in a society where creativity is the driving force for progress.

  • Re:Video Games? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:01AM (#32866184) Journal

    Most computer games do not require creativity. They require quick reflexes and/or the ability to do mindless actions repeatedly for little reward.

  • Re:Play time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:04AM (#32866200)

    Ha! Are you using the data from one type of standardized test (CQ) to criticize the validity of other standardized tests?

    Perhaps we need to just teach to the test (CQ). That will certainly make kids more creative.

    Also, am I the only one who is confused on how you can use a standardized test to measure something like creativity? How can you objectively measure something that is so subjective?

  • Validity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AnonymousClown ( 1788472 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:04AM (#32866202)
    I don't see anyone asking if the "creativity test" is even valid.

    How's the test structured? What's the researcher's definition of creativity? What are they measuring? Creativity is a very subjective concept as it is.

    Just because someone creates a test doesn't mean it measures what they think it measures. We've been through all this with intelligence tests.

  • Re:Play time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:05AM (#32866210)
    When you look back in time, the only pattern I've ever seen is access to implements and free time. Admittedly, that's highly unscientific, but having free time in which to do nothing and where one doesn't have to produce as a portion of the day is really important if one wishes to create anything.
  • I think that currently the most frequently bumped against limits are limits imposed by structures of authority. Frequently these limits are arbitrary, capricious and imposed post-hoc, and their violation comes with severe punishments. I think those kinds of limits are dampening rather than inspirational.

  • by drolli ( 522659 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:07AM (#32866226) Journal
    I grew up in a surrounding which i pretty much could understand (lets exclude politics here) at age 10. I was presented with toys which you can use to build sth yourself (lego bricks, later lego technics, electronics experimental kits). I was not allowed to watch television unsupervised and in average maybe watched 30 minutes per day. I helped renovate the parents house and played outside in the forest. When i started to play computer games i knew how they were programmed. Which means that for me the fun and the possibilities to do sth depended on and grew with comprehending the world and finding creative ways to use this understanding. To me it seems that kids today are raised under a different paradigm: give them an extreme amount of toys which are completely incomprehensible - and no level on comprehension which the kid could achieve will enable it to reshape this toy. An DVD player will never do anything else. Even computer are castrated nowadays (Hello, who of us did not start programming with typing something on the C128 for curiosity) to be game-consoles only. Electronics kit can never come close - even qualitatively - to the millions of gadgets surrounding us, I dont even want to talk about the sense of security which would forbid that children modify their bikes. Nothing which you paint, write, do, will compare to the best amateur thing you find on the internet. So let me formulate that way: we have raised the level of intelligence and knowledge required before creativity pays of visibly to a level not achievable for most of the kids.
  • by shoemilk ( 1008173 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:07AM (#32866232) Journal
    Yes. It's the school's fault. I am perfect. I raise my kids as they should be: TV, Internet flash games, and pre-determined interactive iPad apps.
  • by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:10AM (#32866248) Journal

    If teachers are teaching to the test rather than teaching the children to think, then the fault is lies in the teacher.

    What you don't seem to know is that social promotion and teaching to the lowest common denominator are even worse than what you are describing. Children don't fail, and are not held back. No, an education is no where near as important as self-esteem.

    I remember a time when children didn't have to make any effort at all. I remember the stories of social promotion leading to illiterate high school graduates. Even to day, many students have no respect for their teachers and have no problem disrupting class for everyone solely because they don't want to learn.

    We live in a society that does not value intelligence, full of people who do not value an education any where near as much as they value good grades and a diploma, even if they are neither earned nor deserved.

  • by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:10AM (#32866250)

    School lasts 6 hours a day, which is a pretty big chunk of time. And a lot of that time is spent turning kids into uncreative conformist machines - if they resist that then they label them ADHD and drug the creativity out of them instead.

    But yes the fact that lots of families need both parents to work in order to make ends meet (though that pre-dates the 1990s a little) and that childrens' activities are far more structured than they once were isn't helping.

  • Re:Expected (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:12AM (#32866262) Homepage

    John Taylor Gatto's writings are essentially the ravings of a crackpot. Clear refutations of his thesis that compulsory public schooling is evil include:

    • Countries that are beating the pants of the US in education (and demonstrating continued creativity) have even great enshrinement of public education in law, with homeschooling or parochial schooling virtually unheard of.
    • Gatto's vision of a pre-public education US where everyone was free and freethinking, determined to protect liberty at all costs, is essentially National Romantic hyperbole, and ignores the torrent of histories published over the last several decades which show that the US has always been dominated by oppressive elites and monied interests in spite of its claim to equal opportunity.
    • Gatto claims that US public education teaches people to accept their own social class and stay there, but again, there are countries that show greater class mobility than the US and have an even greater enshrinement of public education.
  • by drewhk ( 1744562 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:17AM (#32866296)

    "Frequently these limits are arbitrary, capricious and imposed post-hoc, and their violation comes with severe punishments."

    Yes, those limits are bad.

    But many of the whiners complain about limitations that are not like this. I knew people crying about mathematics problems as they are "hampering their creativity", but in fact, they were just not smart enough to solve the problem. Many of these people think about arts as the most creative thing on earth. While arts involve a lot of creativity, so does engineering.

  • by Kupfernigk ( 1190345 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:19AM (#32866318)
    It was around 1980 that everything started to "just work". Cars, TV sets and so on became increasingly reliable and standardised. Food came increasingly pre-packed and pre-prepared. People simply do not need to be inventive and curious in order to get things done, in fact, it's often illegal; good luck with modifying a car nowadays. At the very least your insurance will be invalidated. On the rare occasion something goes wrong, scrap and replace or call a specialist.

    I've sometimes thought, looking back at my own career in engineering, that my problem solving ability has got in the way of promotion. It's actually easier and more effective to find someone else to fix the problem, or persuade management that the problem doesn't need fixing (kill the product, for instance). And, if you aren't spending a lot of time on the 98% of perspiration that follows the 2% of inspiration, you have time to play golf with the boss and network your next promotion.

    I think the rot really set in when the word "consumer" became a generic term for everybody. Umberto Eco made this point once, showing how industrial exhibitions had gone from showcasing technology (buy one of these and you can make whatever you can imagine) to showcasing products (buy one of these and your life as a consumer will be better.)

    Schools only reflect society. If teachers are mostly consumers, they won't see the value of (genuine) creativity.

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:22AM (#32866348) Journal

    The controls were put in place mainly to shield the schools from litigation. Schools don't have BP-style resources, so every dollar counts. Let's face it, the average family can't afford to send their kids to school (it's about $10k/student for public, somewhete between $17k-20k for private), so there's not going to be any new influx of cash in schools.

    Some of the controls (I got out of HS in 87) were to prevent vandalism/waste - like making the copier off limits to students, though my best friend in HS and I were the only two, save the principal, who could fix minor problems with it. Much of it stems from very rare, isolated cases of injury/loss/death during school hours while the students were not accounted for. There is no wrath like a parent who has lost a child. When you have to have a perfect safety record with several thousand unpredictable teens 180 days out of the year, things get a little crazy.

    We're not afraid of them, per se, but afraid something will happen to them. A college student gets drunk and falls out of a 4th story window to her death, so the college welds all of the windows shut. An appropriate response? To the parents who no longer have a daughter it would have prevented her death. Won't you think of the children?

  • by emkyooess ( 1551693 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:29AM (#32866392)

    You beat me to it. Creativity is promptly beaten out of you in today's society.

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:38AM (#32866442) Journal

    It's that way almost everywhere now. No Child Left Behind (and other, similar programs) has driven school systems to need these benchmarks to survive. I happen to live in one of the best places in the country, imho. Heck, I learned a new trade just so I could move here and make a living. I don't fear for my child's future, but there are lots of parents who just don't care - and that's a universal truth. As for moving to another country - everybody has their own problems. At least here I know what they are.

  • Re:Validity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by biryokumaru ( 822262 ) <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:45AM (#32866476)

    If only there were people with PhDs on the subject to do tedious and costly research over decades, publishing papers in important psychology journals and conferring with one another to develop a scientific understanding of how the mind works. Then we could trust these people to make scientific determinations about humans the way we can trust engineers to make decisions about bridges, or judges to make decisions about law.

    Too bad psychologists are all a sham and are clearly only making it up as they go along. I mean, I've watched Frasier. Anyone could do their job.

  • by thomp ( 56629 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:49AM (#32866512)

    > Where it is promptly beaten out of you.

    BS. My three kids (15, 12, 9) are encouraged to express their creativity in ways that I was never allowed when I was their age. In fact, I get a little frustrated that their teachers focus so much on creativity and 'thinking outside the box' that they forget about things like spelling and grammar.

  • Re:Validity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spyware23 ( 1260322 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:51AM (#32866530) Homepage

    There's Neurologists.

  • Re:Play time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KiltedKnight ( 171132 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:52AM (#32866538) Homepage Journal
    That's probably the only place creativity has increased.... how to come up with yet another stifling law suit that the ball-less judges won't throw out as frivolous.
  • by Eponymous Coward ( 6097 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:56AM (#32866560)

    If that's what your school district is like, I would suggest you either get involved and try to make some changes or move.

    When we relocated in 2008, the quality of the local public schools is largely why we picked the house we did. Yes, our property taxes are fairly high ($8000+ / year on a $250k house), but we have a public school within walking distance with small classes (20-22 kids), art, music, and theater teachers, a clean new building and a very active parent base.

    I don't see anybody trying to change the kids into uncreative conformist machines. Unless you are talking about disruptive kids. That generally isn't tolerated, but then I don't know that it should be. The school seems to be a safe, fun, and nurturing place and discipline and self control is part of it.

    Teachers know a lot more about how kids learn than they did when I was a kid (in the '70's). Totally unstructured activities have their place, but so do structured and constrained activities. You don't like how your kids' teacher is balancing the two, talk to them about it.

  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:07AM (#32866646)

    Even if they do ask, they depend on someone else to provide "the one true answer" - because they don't have the tools to arrive at a useful answer on their own.

    Which provides for a compliant, easily manipulable population. Remove the capacity to handle mathematics and even basic statistics, and you have people who literally can be told what to think.

  • creativity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zogger ( 617870 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:14AM (#32866688) Homepage Journal

    Well, there's also the old adage that "necessity is the mother of invention". People were a lot more hands on back then with their day to day..well, stuff, plus a lot of things got repaired, not just thrown away when something trivial broke. This lead to "how do I make this better" type efforts..back to caveman days. As applies to children..they mimic adults, they don't see adults doing this anymore that much, repairing or building anything from scratch, figuring out a new tool or how to do something, so they don't either. How many kids today really watch their dad fixing things, or building anything from scratch? the world went from a lot of generalists who could use any tool thrown at them, plus make new tools, to now you need to be an extreme specialist in just one subject to even think about it. I know when I was a little shitter, I was following pops around as he tore down and rebuilt cars, did his own plumbing and carpentry, rebuilt TVs and radios, etc. So..I started doing similar, all the way to getting into trouble for disassembling the lawnmower, etc, building forts, etc with saws and hammer and nails. Kids today..are they really doing that, or mostly just..dunno..playing video games? Being a tool user means you need to use tools, then getting creative with that.

    And then, where is the dividing line between art and tech/engineering? Hard to define creativity when we have no real distinction. Perhaps creativity is just not being recognized clearly enough today?

  • Re:Play time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jurily ( 900488 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <yliruj>> on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:14AM (#32866692)

    Unsupervised 'play' is far too dangerous for little snowflake.

    Yeah, what if they actually learn something by accident?

  • troublesome tests (Score:3, Insightful)

    by __aapspi39 ( 944843 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:19AM (#32866724)

    i always found the Flynn effect to be quite interesting - given that it is demonstrates quite clearly that IQ is something that is down to the environment and has little to do with innate or genetically determined factors.

    imho, unless you looking to 'scientifically' justify right-wing or racist ideas then this would be fairly obvious to anyone who's interested.

    i'm naturally rather suspicious of any similar such test for creativity - to try to capture or measure something as nebulous a concept as creativity seems at face value to be troublesome.

  • by rfuilrez ( 1213562 ) <`rfuilrez' `at' `gmail.com'> on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:22AM (#32866744)

    I'm seeing this even in my work. I'm a mechanic at a large wind turbine manufacturing company. Recently, I moved from the repair side of the business to the new unit assembly. There is a written procedure, from our parent company in Germany (which sucks major balls I might add) to do the new assembly. Any deviation from the written procedure is severely frowned upon. I have found, based on my extended skill-set as a repair technician vs the people who are just assemblers, easier and faster ways of doing things. However, I have been scolded by my new supervisor for doing so.

    It really chops my ass, but you're right. Doing things in creative and different ways is not acceptable for whatever reason...

  • Re:Expected (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Barrinmw ( 1791848 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:22AM (#32866746)
    I hate that first point, always have. An example is our high school students being compared to high school students in Japan. I am sure if we kicked out our lower 50% from high school and sent them to a trade school instead our scores would be higher too.
  • by Darth Sdlavrot ( 1614139 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:31AM (#32866806)

    I grew up with toy bricks (not Lego), Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, Erector (Meccano) Sets, chemistry sets, electronic kits, etc.

    My own children were given much of the same things; but chemistry sets and electronic kits don't exist any more.

    As a child I took toys apart and put them back together, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. I built forts in the neighboring empty lots and fields. I went on all day exploratory bike rides. In junior high and high school I had wood/metal/electronics/print shop classes. As a teenager I learned how to repair my car myself rather than take it to a mechanic.

    I don't think my own children have ever taken anything apart. They never built forts, they never went exploring in the nearby conservation land. Their middle school and high school don't offer any shop classes. Even though I've shown them how, things like checking the oil and changing brake pads is an alien concept.

    The world is a different place. I don't think it bodes well.

  • Re:Play time? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:40AM (#32866854)

    Video games are a problem in my opinion also. They give your brain feedback that its doing something rewarding when its not actually excercising very much. The game drives the brain more than the other way around. This varies quite a bit for different types of games of course.

  • by djmartins ( 801854 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:40AM (#32866856)
    LMAO! You don't think the fact that the 60s commie pot smokers have been running the country for a while has nothing to do with this? American schools have been degenerating since the 1960s and we have been suffering from the results for a LONG time now.
  • Re:Validity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jurily ( 900488 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <yliruj>> on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:42AM (#32866868)

    If only there were people with PhDs on the subject to do tedious and costly research over decades, publishing papers in important psychology journals and conferring with one another to develop a scientific understanding of how the mind works.

    Would you trust a field that thinks the electric chair [wikipedia.org] is good for unhappiness?

  • Re:Play time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:49AM (#32866926)

    More, there is a decrease in the actual participation of adults in play!

    In my experience the opposite is true. I'm old, and when I was young adults were never involved in our play. In the school holidays my mother would organize a day out about once a week but the rest of the time was almost exclusively adult free. There was no TV so my brothers and I had to (dare I say it) create our own entertainment.

    The children I know today spend virtually no time playing in the sense I understood it. When they're not being ferried from one structured (adult led) activity to the next, they're in front of a TV or computer with an adult nearby.

    You think children's lives lack adult involvement. I think they don't get enough time to themselves. God knows which is better for them.

  • by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:52AM (#32866944) Journal

    One could argue that you can't set an age on when a person leaves childhood. Depending on how protective their parents were and how they were raised, children would mentally mature at different points.

  • Re:Validity (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:53AM (#32866952)

    I'm a research psychologist who specializes in testing and assessment, and asking "is this test valid?" is exactly the right response to this article.

    Believe me, if we had a well-validated test of creativity, we'd be using it all the time, and it would be taught extensively. I'm not saying this test has zero validity, but the area of creativity (or generativity) assessment is notorious for having problems. There are all sorts of tests that seem to assess some minor aspect of creativity, but they don't seem to perform the same way as intelligence, personality, or other tests.

    Note that I'm not saying testing in general is bad, or that there haven't been smart people trying to assess creativity using ideas that are pretty reasonable, just that when you do the research to validate the tests, they don't work out empirically that well.

    The trend in the article is interesting, but there really shouldn't be any discussion of policy or culture. The correct response to this article is "what exactly is this test measuring, if anything?"

  • Re:Validity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AnonymousClown ( 1788472 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:58AM (#32866988)
    To this day there are plenty criticisms regarding intelligence and creativity tests among the PhDs you mention. And there are a few who find it ridiculous that something as unquantifiable as "intelligence" or "creativity" can be measured with tests.

    This study is being reported in a magazine for the general public. The fact that it's titled "The Creativity Crisis" is enough to have my BS detector on full. "Creativity Crisis"?! Please. How sensationalist can you get?


    To be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result).

    Pray tell, what is the "best" result? What some academic thinks is the best result? An engineer or businessman could have completely different idea of what "best" is.

    When I see this study being reproduced with different measures of creativity, then I'll take it seriously.

  • Re:Play time? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darth Sdlavrot ( 1614139 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:59AM (#32867000)

    Also, they almost fired me on my first day because I didn't wear the uniform they didn't give me yet.

    This sort of stupidity occurs all over the place.

    Case in point---

    One day not too long ago I arrived at work at 7:15 or so and parked my car. During the day a sign was installed in front of my car indicating that the spot was "Reserved for $product MVP of the month."

    At the end of the day when I left to go home I found a note on my windshield from some asshat telling me not to park in the MVP reserved spot.

    The coward didn't have the nerve to sign their note, so I didn't get the satisfaction of moving the sign in front of their car and leaving a similar note for them.

  • Re:Play time? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:02PM (#32867020) Homepage

    Point taken and accepted. I too spent hours and hours with my brothers "playing computer" inside of a cardboard box that once held a refrigerator. (Back on those days, computers were LARGE devices that communicated with people on slips of paper and lots of lights flashing and sounds of machinery and beeping and blipping... blipping and beeping... beeping and blipping!!!!) Logan's Run and Space 1999 were the TV shows I watched and loved among others. It's true that children should be left to their own devices in many respects, but parents ALSO need to have some input and influence as well.

    I didn't mean to suggest that parents should be there every second of every minute of every hour of every day. And in fact, I rather alluded to that fact as I told my own story of my uninvolved mother and my part-time father. I was mostly left to my own devices. And you have an extremely valuable point in that kids need to be able to explore and roam and test and experience on their own a lot. I was reflecting with my wife the other day that many of the things I did as a kid would result in "serious psychiatric counselling" or even charges of terrorism today. I played with fire, fireworks, BB guns and threw rocks and was cruel to animals and raised all kinds of hell. Back in those days "boys will be boys" was repeated a lot ... occasionally by police officers. (hehehe) I'm no violent psychopathic criminal though... I just needed to learn those lessons as a child so I didn't take my misguided ways into adulthood. :)

    A good balance is needed and I think we can both agree that a good balance is not available to most kids today.

  • by zippthorne ( 748122 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:19PM (#32867142) Journal

    Third grade? Yeah, there ought to be a lot of memorization going on in third grade. You need to have built a foundation of facts before you can be lead to conclusions connecting them. Third grade is your solid rock of foundation, of course you're going to need to memorize a lot of things. That's not the only thing that should be going on, but I doubt that even in your daughter's school that it is the case that that's all they're doing.

    I can almost guarantee, however, that there is nothing in the testing criterion or curriculum guidelines that suggests simply memorizing the things that are going to be on the test. That's a conclusion come to by some of the teachers, or some group that ostensibly represents and aids the teachers in performing their duties. I can think of no other reason to sabotage both the test itself and the children's education at the same time.

    I was in florida during the first few years after they instituted the FCATs. There were a lot of complaints that teachers would be "teaching to the test." and whatnot, but after the results came in it was clear than in some whole counties, they weren't even teaching to the test. How do you propose to discover and correct that?

  • Re:Play time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:24PM (#32867190) Homepage

    And what about those standardized toys that you can buy - Made in China.

    Everything today is "tamper proof", so it's not possible to open the devices, and if you are able to do it - there is nothing to learn.

    And then - what happens at home is that the kids can't go visit their friends at will - it's far too dangerous to place the kid on a bicycle to meet some friends and then play at a nearby stream without supervision where they can build a small dam or play with small boats that they have made themselves. Going out when it's raining - that won't happen. Every kid needs to be supervised and transported by car to their friends.

    And when kids are at home they aren't placed into doing something creative but instead placed in front of the TV or possibly at the computer where they can play some point and shoot game that won't stimulate the creativity. And then the kids today also are fully active in interaction with their friends via SMS and IM which shortens their attention span.

    What builds creativity? - That's a good question, but it seems to me that a too short attention span where there is a shortness of true idleness periods and triggering of the imagination is failing. Watching a movie is to consume the imagination of someone else while reading a book leaves room for yourself to develop your imagination triggered by the author. Don't forget that "necessity is the mother of invention", so if there is no need to invent (like when you read a book you need to invent the pictures) the creativity isn't triggered. I'm not saying that you should ban all movies, but rather to limit the volume.

    As for books to read - check out adventure books describing the discoveries and travels of other persons (real or imaginary) will be one path. Don't worry if the 9 year old takes a nose dive in some book intended for adults. That's just a new level of challenges and a learning about the world. Worry more if the kid don't touch books at all. And remember - there are no "bad" literature, that's just an invention by some people that want to think that they have a high standard. The important thing is to read.

    Kids also learns from trial and error - and if nothing is broken ever and the kid never gets some bruises now and then from failing an idea the is either lacking all initiative or is so over-protected that creativity has been hemmed in.

    As long as the kids aren't doing anything criminal there is not much to worry about. Creativity in criminality is what we shall fear most. Creativity in reassembling junk into new things is no problem (except that you will have some junk lying around now and then).

  • Re:Play time? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:31PM (#32867248)

    Oh, the kids are all on drugs, but not the recreational kind. It keeps them dull and passive in the guise of "treating" AHDD. Gosh I wonder if there might be some relationship between expressing boredom with rote learning drills by doing other (unapproved) things instead of sitting like a zombie, and creativity. Nah, couldn't be anything like that, right?

  • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:33PM (#32867260) Homepage

    Why do you type sth when you don't abbreviate anything else? Is that creativity in action? Kids still play with Lego. It's still enormously popular. I have 4 nephews and a niece. The boys all have and love Lego.

  • by pmontra ( 738736 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:35PM (#32867284) Homepage
    It's easier to sell to dumb people than to smart people. Diesel's "Be Stupid" campaign praising the virtues of being stupid is an eye-opener. Companies like customers to "be stupid" and they only need a few smart people to get their business going. A more stupid society is good for business. It's not an evil ploy, it's just that years and years of profit oriented marketing have inevitably changed the society. Good for us (I'm not a kid anymore), it will be easier to maintain an edge over the new generations ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:42PM (#32867320)

    I have noticed a distinct trend towards authoritarianism in American culture in the past 20 years. And this has been most especially pronounced in schools. Authoritarianism and creativity are at direct odds with each other.

    My own HS started making changes shortly after I graduated in 1989. They started restricting student's ability to go off campus during the day. And I haven't really gone back to find out what else has changed, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's a lot more locked down than when I went.

    I find your argument rather fascinating. Shortly after you graduated high school, your former school restricted students' ability to go off campus during the day; therefore, you feel you are able to conclude that American culture has shifted towards authoritarianism for the past 20 years.

    A amazing conclusion, really, based on nothing more than what one single school did... once. You even admit that you have no idea whether they did anything else; you just assume. And you have no idea why they did what they did, or whether it was really authoritarianism that led them to do it; you just speculate.

    I don't think you are necessarily mistaken, actually, but I find your argument to be wholly unpersuasive.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:43PM (#32867334)

    It is no surprise that we are turning out "trained rats" who can perform a specific set of tasks to pass a test

    Post on Slashdot, get 5 mod points.

    Post on Slashdot, get 5 mod points.

    etc. ......

  • by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:52PM (#32867388) Journal

    ...now you need to be an extreme specialist in just one subject to even think about it.

    It's not just the complexity of modern devices though - it is also that manufacturers now go out of their way to prevent people fix, modifying, learning etc. from things they make in order to prevent you from either improving on it or doing things with it that they do not want you to. When manufacturers actively stop you from 'playing' with their devices the result is not only that it is harder to "fix" it but you also risk breaking the device....and generally those with the free time (students etc.) don't have the money to be able to afford breaking expensive equipment. Hence rather than innovate creatively they just use the device as told.

    Of course the above only applies to electronic devices but, as the newest and most capable tools we have these are the ones most likely to motivate creative and intelligent people to play with them because they can, in general, do so much more with them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:53PM (#32867392)

    I call BS on this one. If you can't have a creative thought without a drug, I'd argue that is your problem not the "drug wars" problem.

  • Re:Play time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjames ( 1099 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @01:14PM (#32867502) Homepage Journal

    I think the point is that adults need to be available if needed, but not necessarily directly involved in play.

    When I was growing up, single income families were the norm (typically the father). That meant your mother was home. Neighbors were in general trusted. We could run about the neighborhood in safety. If an adult was needed, it wasn't hard to find one. If you were up to no good, there were enough adults around that you'd be found out eventually.

    Since that time, we've gone to a combination of two income families and single parent families. Meanwhile, nobody feels sure there isn't a serial killer or a molester in the neighborhood (probably because they're too busy working to have cookouts with the neighbors and they haven't quite gotten over "stranger danger").

    Put that together and you have a bunch of kids who aren't ALLOWED to go outside after school. Then (perhaps out of a sense of guilt at not being there) the kids get shuttled off to structured events on the weekend.

    I think you make a good point as well. Kids make mistakes sometimes and there's no need to get an army of psychologists, cops, and judges involved in the vast majority of cases. That goes right up through the teen years.

    I've noticed that it applies to more than just discipline as well. The same injury that caused my dad to ask if I cracked the driveway, some iodine, and a bandage now seems to result in a panicked rush to the E.R.

    There's no one thing, and no quick fix. Sadly, since part of the fix calls for better pay and less hours for the working class, I guess we can just forget about it until the next revolution, those are bad for corporations.

  • by Theovon ( 109752 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @01:16PM (#32867528)

    It used to be that people had to LEARN DISCIPLINE so that they could pay attention in school and learn. Meanwhile, the randomness of the thoughths they had to learn to keep under control was funneled into directed creativity.

    These days, every kid is labeled with ADHD and given drugs that suppress random thoughts. Oh, sure they SEEM a little more disciplined, but we're chemically robbing them of creativity.

    (I'm not saying that ADD doesn't exist. I know, because I have it. Indeed, I rely on it to help me come up with interesting random ideas. And it was indeed a long, challenging journey to learn to focus. I also realize that some people have it SO BAD that giving them some chemical help makes sense. But MOST kids in school labeled with ADHD just have discipline problems. But let's not leave it there, because often the discipline problems aren't their fault. Their diets are absolute shit. If parents would feed their kids properly, we wouldn't have half so much trouble.)

  • Ritalin use (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AugstWest ( 79042 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @01:45PM (#32867700)

    That's pretty much when Ritalin use in "rambunctious" children began to skyrocket.

    As an adult with ADD, I can tell you for certain that Ritalin squelches creativity. I am a musician, and when I'm steadily taking the pills I always see a marked decline in my songwriting and recording.

    It's often the more creative kids that get diagnosed as ADD as well.

    Vicious cycle, America. Learn to teach creative, energetic kids, and we'll stay on top. Start turning them into rank-and-file automatons and this is what you get.

  • Re:Expected (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Abcd1234 ( 188840 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @01:55PM (#32867764) Homepage

    Damn right. Why the fuck do people shit all over the trades? I have a bachelors degree in CompSci but I have no fucking clue how to fix a plumbing problem or wire an electrical panel. So does that make me somehow better or worse than the tradesman? Hell no.

  • Crisis! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @02:12PM (#32867880)
    A crisis! Quick! Throw $500 billion at it! There! Done!
  • Re:creativity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @03:23PM (#32868366)

    "So..I started doing similar, all the way to getting into trouble for disassembling the lawnmower, etc, building forts, etc with saws and hammer and nails. Kids today..are they really doing that, or mostly just..dunno..playing video games? Being a tool user means you need to use tools, then getting creative with that."

    Their adults don't value those skills, so they raise fewer offspring with general skills. The pursuit of such skills isn't valued, which amuses me when "over-specialized" adults don't know what to do when their Special job goes away!

    "to now you need to be an extreme specialist in just one subject to even think about it."

    Bad popular misconception! Generalists are much better able to learn as they go.

    I trained plenty of avionics weenies, engine mechs, and crew chiefs in my USAF service. The folks who got it quickest were generally farm boys/girls or others who had an old school background. Their parents weren't afraid to put them in a go-cart, on a dirt bike, or helping fix the house or car.

    They learned HOW to learn, and internalized that mechanical and electrical PRINCIPLES apply to everything from a toaster to an F-16.

  • Re:creativity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @04:14PM (#32868754)

    While I am sure the necessity argument does hold water, I personally don't think that it is the whole story. I think the GP has a point concerning free time and access to materials.

    [Disclaimer: I am a sculptor, who is also a quality engineer]

    Allow me to share some personal anecdotes. (Yes, I know anecdote is not the singular of data.)

    In the 1990s, access to physical artistry supplies was much greater. I could walk into even a WALMART and get brushes (Of inferior quality, but they STILL had them.), I could get florist's clay, and a very wide assortment of fabrics, fabric and embroidery goodies, and the like.

    Compare that with "Today".

    Yesterday, I went to the store. [since posting as AC, I will admit to this] I recently downloaded a copy of Photomodeler Scanner, which is a photometrology program. Essentially, it lets you create 3d models from sets of stereo photographs. Since I am a sculptor in my free time, this is very appealing to me. [if I like it, I certainly WILL buy it.]

    I hunted for a lazy Susan in the houseware department... 20 minutes later, I found an overpriced "rotating cake icing tray" in the wedding supply department. It's JUST a lazy susan, but now it affords a big pricetag (greater than 20$ for some injection mold plastic). (and makes me look like a poofer when I buy it, by being all florally decorated in the packaging.)

    Item #1 in my "easy stereo photo setup" down, I started looking for medium.

    From past experience, I know that florist clay is a very nice working, and reusable medium. I fully expected this to be expensive; but-- they didn't even have it. Worse, the Walmart associates had never even heard of the stuff.

    Frustrated and angry, I started looking for good alternatives. I spent another 20 minutes looking for generic children's modeling clay. Was it in the same department as the "Children's activities" department, with the sidewalk chalk, the horrible color by numbers, and other children's art project supplies? NO! Was it with the playdough stuff? NO!

    Where was it then? It was sandwiched ungracefully between a pre-fab build a solarsystem kit, and some florist wire, and oven bake sculpey.

    Further, there was only ONE selection choice, and the product was too soft and goopy for serious artistic use. Normally, when confronted with such a problem, I gently press on the front window of the clay box, and see how sticky and squishy the clay is. It needs to be somewhat firm in order to not deform under the influence of gravity. (For those with bad imaginations: When you roll out a log of the stuff, and hold it parallel to the ground in front of you, it should sag only a little, while retaining good plasticity. Otherwise it will require expensive armatures inside the structure to provide rigidity. This is why florist clay is awesome.)

    Long story short, what was supposed to be an in-and-out shopping trip for some medium and a fairly common household item turned into an hour and a half scavenger hunt with disappointing results. To use that stupid clay, I had to blend it 50-50 with bees wax to get sufficient rigidity.

    You guys would be right to point out that the above rant tells more about walmart and its business practices than it does about the decline of availability of art supplies, since I could just as well have gone to J-Micheals, or Hobby Lobby, or any other specialist shop, but that ignores the fact that in the 1990s, those shops were all over town, but now there are maybe 5 (both chains combined) in a reasonably large metro area of over 650k people. (Compare with more than 20 walmarts.) Walmart's competition in the 90s, (when you COULD get florist clay there!) drove the competitors out, then walmart mainstreamed the store and eliminated "poor sellers." (EG, items that they could not sell in huge quantities for massive damage-- er, money.)

    As such, my options when shopping for medium are very limited. Availability is a serious problem.

    Coupled with Economics 101, as supply dwindles, and demand in

  • Re:Play time? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @06:12PM (#32869562)

    I know you were joking here, but I can't ignore this idiocy.

    Recreational drugs do NOT bring forth creativity, unless you factor in acts of drug induced stupidity (tongueing a light socket, for example?) which produces a rather Darwinian approach to the problem.

    Creative people, seeking to anesthetize the realities of a grim existence, however, are certainly as likely as any other demographic to accomplish that through recreational activities, be they illicit drugs, indiscriminate sex, gambling, video games, or engaging in risky behaviors.

    The problem we have here, in my opinion, is that we have an educational system that has been rewired to produce more conformist drones and fewer critical thinkers. And why not? After all, it's less expensive, safer for those established in positions of authority, to have a simpler, predictable, DOCILE, source of future labor and revenue. If you have people who are actually trained to THINK CREATIVELY in places outside of the more expensive private schools, God forbid that they might actually reach the conclusion that they are getting shafted by those better off and decide they might actually want to do something about it. If you can shortchange the common folk from the tools needed to change things as they are, you, as an elite, won't have to worry about them eliminating YOU from the equation. It is for this same line of thinking that established corporate entities are working so diligently to eliminate concepts like the public domain, copyright reform, FOSS, and personal accountability from our collective experience.

    Even worse, this does not require an active conspiracy, simply a collective "gentlemen's agreement" that certain things must be done to insure the status quo. So much the better for human nature to tend towards a resistance to change.

    It didn't happen overnight. It won't be fixed easily.

  • Re:Play time? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @06:40PM (#32869736)

    As a South Korean I've worked with, over the last 10 years, many people from all over the World here in New Zealand.

    For a lot of the people that I've worked with, I could not find any correlation between their actions and common sense.

    For example, one American decided to delete all data in one of our test database table because he decided that there were too many rows and it took too long for him to use his SQL developer to "scroll down" to find the row he wanted. For the next two days, other five testers had to spend time re-crafting the test data.

    Also, one Kiwi program manager almost fired my (hard working) project manager (who happened to be from Singapore) because he did not want to take the blame for the under budgeted project that ran over budget.

    Now how the fuck does this deserve Score:5 Interesting?

  • Re:Play time? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xtal ( 49134 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @07:22PM (#32870024)

    You miss the point. Back then there was no "gear". You just went out on your bike.

  • by Pezbian ( 1641885 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:00PM (#32870524)

    "How many kids today really watch their dad fixing things, or building anything from scratch?"

    My daughter, for one. And she's only three years old. I hope she will grow up to be as bummed about Chinese "epoxy blob" Electronics as I was when I was a kid. I had to start dumpster diving for broken stereo receivers to get anything worth taking apart when toys turned out to be so pointless.

    I'm saving a working Robosapien for her. Those are very hackable.

    I've had to change a lot about the work I do in order to make it kid-safe. For instance, I can't have high voltage power supplies (backlight inverters) open with her around and switching entirely from Tin/Lead solder to Lead Free was a bitch. But it still means I can have her watching what I do and maybe even helping sooner in life than I.

    I learned to solder when I was eight. She'll probably learn long before that.

    She has been watching me build a render farm from trash computers over the past nine months and turn broken LCD and plasma TVs into working sets for over a year now. During the past six months, she has taken a genuine interest in the work. She will watch me work for far longer stretches than she'll watch Dora or Diego.

    That makes me proud and gives me hope that our world isn't heading toward Idiocracy standards after all.

  • Re:Play time? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theshowmecanuck ( 703852 ) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @09:37PM (#32870704) Journal
    One of the biggest lies in the world:

    Bob: "Hey Joe, what are you going to do today?"
    "Oh I don't know Bob, I think I'll smoke a joint and do something."
  • Re:Expected (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Sunday July 11, 2010 @11:08PM (#32871112) Homepage

    When you have spent decades teaching in a public school, won a statewide "best teacher of the year" award, and written a book on the history of education which required years of research...

    Right, and no one can criticize Smedley Butler's War is a Racket agitprop until they've risen themselves through the ranks of the Marines to become a general? No. Lunatic positions are lunatic positions, regardless of the author's past. Argument from authority is a fallacy.

  • Re:Play time? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShakaUVM ( 157947 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @03:04AM (#32872220) Homepage Journal

    >>However, underlining is universally recognized to be a horizontal line

    Universally recognized by people OVER 9 years old. Give me a fucking break. Kids don't come born into the world with knowledge pre-implanted in their heads. Kids experiment with language and actions, and try different things before some adult slaps them down for coloring outside the lines.

  • Re:Play time? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Monday July 12, 2010 @08:09AM (#32873222)
    Joce and hedwards - you are on to something.

    As the US has moved into the bean counter and lawyer stage of it's life, we have stopped trying to make wealth, and started figuring out ways to extract wealth form other people. So as the bean counters wrest control, we see a dropoff of "useless" things like recess, art class, and for Gawd's sake no! That kid over there has some free time! Horrors! Coupled with parents who have dubious parenting skills themselves, and overcompensate horribly. You're one of them if you think that putting a gps on the family car to track Juniors whereabouts is an awesome idea. Also, if we force entire generations of children to look at things only from a material point of view, and constantly monitor their actions, yeah, creativity will suffer.

    So we have a generation of adults who were never allowed to mature, whose helicoptering parents, with well meaning but ultimately destructive actions, who didn't have a free minute to reflect on anything or figure out how to interact in an adult setting without a parent intervening - yes they don't have the ability to think very creatively. I feel badly for them.

    Anyhow its either that or the fertilizer chemicals from when the little bastards cut across my lawn,

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