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October 18, 2010

In Newsweek's The Creativity Crisis, Po Pronson and Ashley Merryman reveal research showing that American creativity is declining for the first time. The decline is cited to be most serious for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Questions about what went wrong and how to fix it are posed in this article promoting the idea that ‘there is never one right answer - to be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result).’ Dr. Donna Housman said, “This is what we are helping children to do all the time:  at our Peace Table in asking children to look at alternative ways to resolve the problem and choose the best plan, in role play where children act out various roles and viewpoints, in science and block play where children are encouraged to question what they see and design according to their unique plan, and in learning to manage not only our own feelings, needs and actions, but also dealing with the feelings, needs and actions of others.” The article also cites neuroscientist Rex Jung who concluded that those who diligently practice creative activities learn to recruit their brains’ creative networks quicker and better. A lifetime of consistent habits gradually changes the neurological pattern. At Beginnings we believe that this process starts at infancy and laying the foundation is most critical during the first six years.

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