Creativity and NCLB
Oxymoronic, don’t you think? Standards-based education derived from NCLB means that there is no time for creative problem-solving in most American classrooms today. But here I am asking public school educators and parents who have found my blog to take part in some creative problem-solving. Perhaps by working together we can arrive at solutions that are more effective –and with fewer downsides — than the NCLB mandates. If only such a process had been followed before NCLB was authorized in 2001!
Newsweek, in its July 19, 2010 issue, had a wonderful cover story entitled “Creativity in America.” Reading it, we are reminded why creativity and problem solving are vital for the dynamic future growth of our nation. In 1958,Professor Paul Torrance analyzed 400 Minneapolis children’s creativity and then began to follow them over the next 50 years. Every accomplishment of these young students has been tracked and noted. The data from these reports has recently been analyzed by Jonathan Plucker from Indiana University. According to Newsweek, “The correlation to lifetime creative accomplishment was more than three times stronger for childhood creativity than childhood IQ.” Therefore, it is alarming to read that Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary reports that since 1990 creativity scores in America’s young children have been steadily declining! (links to more about creativity)
If you continue reading deep into the Newsweek article, you will come to Dr. Donald Treffinger’s Model for Creative Problem Solving. Reading the Newsweek article inspired me to attempt to use the model on this blog.
Below is Dr. Treffinger’s model for creative problem-solving.
- 1. Fact-Finding
- 2. Problem-Finding
- 3. Idea-Finding
- 4. Solution-Finding
- 5. Developing a Plan of Action
Although this blog was created so that you, who are in the trenches, can provide many facts and true stories about the effects of NCLB, many facts are already available. Here are links to NCLB, Race to the Top, Common Core Standards, and more government documents. A link can also be found on the sidebar. You don’t need to record the facts in these documents in the comment section unless you want to. They are there for your convenience. As I locate additional reports, I will post them for your perusal. I would like to thank Education Week in particular for its efforts in making this kind of information so readily available.
So what exactly am I asking you to do? Educators have been living NCLB for the last nine years. Leave your comments about your experiences with NCLB in the section, In the Trenches. I predict that as you do most of you will find yourselves in both the Fact-Finding AND the Problem-Finding modes. Don’t worry what stage you’re in. Just record your experiences with NCLB. Each state has arrived at its own methods of complying with NCLB. As an educator from your particular state, you have valuable input about 1) the positive and negative outcomes of NCLB and 2) the unintended consequences that may be negative or positve. When you click on your state’s map, enter your comments about your own first-hand experiences or experiences of other educators who you know to be credible.
I will stay on top of the comments and bundle them together under categories as I see trends developing and post them for you to see.
Eventually, I will supply a page for Idea Finding and one for Solution Finding. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves at this point.
Here’s the link for your input. In the Trenches on the main menu or the Home page at the top will take you there as well. Almost every page and post on this website should have a link for you to get to the map for your comments. The heart of this blog will be your comments, not my posts. Come back again and again. We — meaning public school educators who live and work in the trenches — need your insight. Spread the word and get more and educators to visit and leave comments. The more we have, the more convincing we will be.