STUDENTS, How many times have you kept your curiosity to yourself with the fear of being laughed upon? How often do you wonder whether the syllabus taught in your school curriculum hold any significance? Have you ever subdued your creativity and talent because your elders said you to focus on your studies?
In a TedxTucson talk, Dr. George Land has spoken about an experiment that left the audience flabbergasted. Speaking in regards to the experiment, which was initially designed for scientists at NASA but subsequently the scientists ended up trying the same on the students.
Recalling an incident Dr. George Land, reminiscence the time when NASA has contacted Dr. George Land and Beth Jarman for developing an experiment to study the creative aptitude of rocket engineers and scientists at USA’s space organization, NASA.
Although preliminarily the test was designed to design the level of creativity among the scientists at NASA, the duo ended up using the test to study the creative potential among students owing to various questions they had post conducting the test on experts at NASA.
The duo faced the following questions: “where does creativity come from? Are some people born with it or is it learned? Or does it come from our experience?”
A sample of 1600 children aged between 4 to 5 years was chosen for the experiment and the children had to come up with a unique approach to various problems. The results at the completion of the test was even more astounding. A whopping 98% of these children fell into the category of geniuses with high creative potential.
But even this wasn’t enough to satisfy these scientists and they decided to conduct the same experiment with the same sample space4 after five years when they will be aged around ten.
This time shockingly only 30% of the students still had the creative genius within them.
The test was repeated once more after five years when these kids had turned into teenagers and the figure ell even more to only 12%.
The same experiment was repeated with a different set of adults and the spark of creativity remained only with a mere 2% of the total participants in the experiment.
While many of the readers may feel that this experiment lacks universal application, the application has been repeated more than a million times and to our dismay, the figures were quite similar.
Gavin Nascimento, who has published a report on this experiment explained this shocking drop in the level of creative genius as, “The reasoning for this is not too difficult to apprehend; school, as we plainly call it, is an institution that has historically been put in place to ultimately serve the wants of the ruling class, not the common people.”
Further, “In order for the so-called elite to maintain their lavish lifestyles of overt luxury — where they contribute the least but enjoy the most — they understand that children must be dumbed down and brainwashed to accept (and even serve) their rapacious system of artificial scarcity, unending exploitation, and incessant war,” wrote Gavin in his article explaining this phenomenon.
But, luckily you can gain back your potential once again.
According to Land, the brain thinks in two different ways, namely, divergent thinking and convergent thinking.
When we use divergent thinking, we generate innovative ideas that may open up paths to a new reality while convergent thinking is the judgemental part of our brain which is used for making decisions, or making a choice, or while assessing.
According to Land, the education system makes students use both the part simultaneously, i.e., while it may ask a student to come up with a new idea, the next moment they may shun the student’s approach to a problem stating it to be “We tried that before”, “That’s a dumb idea”, “It won’t work” which makes the student’s to start assessing their ideas.
Land noting on this topic refers it to as dangerous because it leads to the damage of brain cells as various parts of it clash when they are made to work simultaneously “we’re constantly judging, criticizing and censoring.”
This approach also leads students to start to think under fear as there may be dismissed and termed stupid which further shrinks the brain but if the brain is allowed to function creatively it may be able to produce better results as the brain sparks up in the latter case.
At the end of the talk, Land leaves everyone with a challenge: “Tomorrow, you take a table fork, turn your five-year-old on and come up with 25 or 30 ideas on how to improve on the table fork.”