Before we can teach for more creativity in school -- which we absolutely should be doing -- we need to help teachers, administrators and parents rediscover their own creativity so that they can recognize and encourage it in others.
[20 October 2009 - New York Times - By Tom Friedman] That is the key to understanding our full education challenge today. Those who are waiting for this recession to end so someone can again hand them work could have a long wait. Those with the imagination to make themselves untouchables — to invent smarter ways to do old jobs, energy-saving ways to provide new services, new ways to attract old customers or new ways to combine existing technologies — will thrive. Therefore, we not only need a higher percentage of our kids graduating from high school and college — more education — but we need more of them with the right education. As the Harvard University labor expert Lawrence Katz explains it: “If you think about the labor market today, the top half of the college market, those with the high-end analytical and problem-solving skills who can compete on the world market or game the financial system or deal with new government regulations, have done great. But the bottom half of the top, those engineers and programmers working on more routine tasks and not actively engaged in developing new ideas or recombining existing technologies or thinking about what new customers want, have done poorly. They’ve been much more exposed to global competitors that make them easily substitutable.” ... So our schools have a doubly hard task now — not just improving reading, writing and arithmetic but entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity. More | Public Responses to This Column: "To Promote Creativity, Let’s Start in the Schools"