The Importance of Creating Creatives
by Linda Stanek
“She’s a Creative,” someone said with a shrug. That explained it all–her hair, her makeup, even the odd little boots she wore. Why does our society want to separate those who are creative from those who are not? It’s as if we believe that the gift of creativity is something only some of us have. (I beg to differ.) And while creativity may be esteemed in highly successful artists in society, it is often dismissed in those who are not.
In schools, we push children toward the academic. We are prepared to cut the arts if budgets get too tight. Yet, college professors complain about students who had four-point-plus high school GPAs, stellar ACT scores, but have limited higher-level thinking skills—the very skills they will need to be productive in college and this rapidly changing world. Many of these students were “taught to the test,” a necessity brought on by pressures on school systems to “prove” their competence in teaching. And these students worked hard, learning those quantifiable things that would be on their tests. Their parents, their school systems and they themselves were proud—as they should be. It was a job well done. But are they adequately prepared for the future? Think about this: the children who enter kindergarten today will be a part of the work force in 2070. Who knows what the world will look like then? How do we prepare them? One thing we must do, I believe, is to help them be thinkers, experimenters, questioners who are willing to try something different. To adjust to all the changes that will invariably shape the coming decades, they will need to be Creatives.
Creativity is much less quantifiable than math, science or language skills. But in the coming weeks, we will examine what creativity is (hint: it’s more than being artistic), how it is tightly linked to higher-order thinking skills, and how it positively impacts all aspects of learning. And, we’ll take a look at how stitching can be a part of creating Creatives.
Reflect on your own experiences. How do you define creativity? Where do you encounter it in your life?
Linda Stanek was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, and has always loved visiting the zoo. She spends her time taming stray cats and corralling words into stories and books—both fiction and nonfiction. She also writes for magazines, e-zines, and non-profit organizations and writes teacher’s guides for award-winning children’s books.
Linda has a B.S. degree in elementary education from The Ohio State University. She lives in Columbus with her three cats, Frankie (named after a Columbus Crew soccer player), Chloe (just because she likes the name), and Cubby (named after the Chicago Cubs baseball team). Beco’s Big Year is her second book.
Very well stated, Linda! As a school-based occupational therapist working with special education students, I could not agree more. Creativity is an integral part of abstract thinking. I look forward to your further articles.