I.Q. Scores Rising, Creativity Scores Falling

Posted by Sarah Murr, Sep 12, 2011 5 comments

Sarah Murr

While research studies show that Intelligence Quotient (IQ) continues to increase with each new generation, creativity scores are decreasing. This fact should alarm everyone.

In fact, it has already gotten the attention of American business that desperately wants to – needs to – hire the brightest and the best to generate the next innovative ideas for products or services that will keep our businesses competitive in a global marketplace.

You may ask, "why are creativity scores decreasing?"

One possible answer comes from Sandra Ruppert, director of the Arts Education Partnership, a national coalition of arts, business, education, philanthropic, and government organizations who said, “We have a whole generation of teachers and parents who have not had the advantage of arts in their own education.”

So what does being creative have to do with an innovative workforce?

IBM's 2010 survey of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the number one leadership competency for the workforce of the 21st century. However, tight state budgets and a lack of appreciation for what an arts education provides a young mind, and subsequently an adult mind, have resulted in the abandonment or near abandonment of arts programs across the nation.

We’re not talking about developing the next Leonardo da Vinci or Mozart, but we are talking about developing young people with an appreciation for the visual and performing arts that translates into and supports their careers in all fields making them well-rounded workers, parents, and patrons of the arts.

It’s well-known that a well-developed arts education teaches communications skills, teamwork, problem solving, responsibility, and the ability to adapt to change. All of these skills are considered critical by Boeing for its highly skilled workforce.

In a global economy that is driven by knowledge and ideas, arts education belongs at the forefront, complementing curriculum that will ultimately develop the next generation of innovators.

Where would we be today without the creative thinkers and problem solvers who have given us the life-changing digital age?

Providing comprehensive arts programs as early as pre-school will help nurture future generations of creative thinkers and problem solvers who will invent the next life-changing products or services.

5 responses for I.Q. Scores Rising, Creativity Scores Falling

Comments

Nancy says
September 15, 2011 at 10:16 am

There are plenty of teachers who have arts backgrounds and are dying to encourage the arts and creativity in their classrooms but are not allowed. Standardized testing is killing the education system and the future innovators in this country. But to address the problem, we need to restore the arts to our culture rather than allowing them to continue to be relegated to the "luxury" or even "unnecessary" category. We need to be able to point to more studies that show that art, music, dance, writing, theater, etc. positively impact originality, critical thinking, and other "important" qualities that businesses need and appreciate. Until then, they will continue to be put last, to the detriment of every aspect of our society.

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Jim Herr says
September 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Sarah, thank you for putting this in perspective in such a succinct and eloquent way. We have to give our students every chance to succeed in school and succeed in the workplace. If our country wants to continue to be the world leader we must prepare our future workforce with the skills that will be necessary to compete.

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September 13, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Thanks, Sarah, for making some great points and another important argument for arts education. In the CalArts Commuity arts Partnership (CAP) program, we are continually developing measurable outcomes for the work we are doing in providing high quality arts education programs for youth throughout LA County. My question is, what "creativity scores" are being measured? Is there a way to see how they are measuring creativity?

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September 14, 2011 at 11:56 am

Thanks for your comments, Glenna. The creativity test that is often cited is the Torrance Test. While not a perfect measure of creativity, it is used by such accomplished academia as Dr. Kyung Hee Kim, The College of William and mary, and Dr. James C. Kaufman, California State University, San Bernardino.

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March 23, 2012 at 4:55 pm

THANK YOU FOR THIS IMPORTANT ARTICLE ON CREATIVITY AND ARTS EDUCATION SARAH. IT IS PARTICULARLY POWERFUL COMING FROM THE AEROSPACE INDUSTRY, WHICH HELPS TO MAKE THE CASE THAT CREATIVE EDUCATION BENEFITS STUDENTS, AND DEVELOPS A WORK-FOCE TRAINED FOR MANY DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES. THE CREATIVE ECONOMY AND THE TECH INDUSTRY ARE CURRENTLY IMPORTING EMPLOYEES FROM OUT OF STATE AND INTERNATIONALLY. RESTORING ARTS EDUCATION TO OUR CURRICULUM, WILL KEEP KIDS IN SCHOOL, PREPARE THEM FOR COLLEGE, AND ENABLE THEM TO SUCCEED IN EXCITING CAREERS. OUR ECONOMY'S RECOVERY DEPENDS ON THIS. WE OWE IT TO OUR KIDS.

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