The current model of education in the United States is stifling the creative soul of our children. While this is troubling for a variety of reasons, it also has significant economic consequences for the future of our country. America has long been unique because of its remarkable ingenuity, innovative capacity and entrepreneurial spirit. Yet over the last few decades, we have witnessed both a steady decline in the number of startups, as well as an increasing number of studies that suggest America’s education model fails to promote the kind of creativity, risk-taking, and problem solving skills necessary for entrepreneurship, and for a world and labor market that is in the midst of profound transformation. These are very worrisome trends.
According to research conducted by Kyung Hee Kim, Professor of Education at the College of William and Mary, all aspects of student creativity at the K-12 level have been in significant decline for the last few decades. Based on scores from the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, her study reveals “that children have become less emotionally expressive, less energetic, less talkative and verbally expressive, less humorous, less imaginative, less unconventional, less lively and passionate, less perceptive, less apt to connect seemingly irrelevant things, less synthesizing, and less likely to see things from a different angle.” That is depressing.