Elizabeth Priddy on tue 23 mar 10
Children are not more creative than adults. Children lack the ability to d=
iscern reality from make-believe as a developmental skill well up to the 9t=
h year. So their lack of mental inhibition and freedom, which many interpr=
et as greater creativity, is simple ignorance.
It is refreshing to work with them as this alternate view of the world help=
s us step back and enjoy life in an uninhibited way.
In adults, though, creativity is genuine and a result of the capacity for s=
ynthetic reasoning. How much you know and how willing you are to research =
and experiment provide leverage for intelligent adults to put discrete piec=
es of information together in unique ways. That crazy perspective that mak=
es you say, "I never would have thought to do that," is a result of increas=
ed organization of the mind, not less. And intelligence of this kind rarel=
y tests well, so IQ and SAT's won't help you find individuals that can do t=
his well. Success is a good indicator.
That is why children like puzzles but are ill-equipped to solve a great pro=
portion of them.
Thanks to Snail for her creativity comments, as it sparked me to figure out=
what was bothering me about that whole discussion. I do not have any desi=
re at all to "play" with clay. Yet my work is evocative, funny, light, and=
pretty, by others' estimation. I think like this and am not limited to su=
per serious dull results. I am very serious about my art and how I do it, =
but I do not work like a child at all, I never have. Children cannot do pr=
actice drills effectively as they lack the capacity to concentrate for hour=
s on the same activity. The thing that makes them so energetic makes them =
incapable of this type of progressive work. The rare child that is a natur=
al mimic or very mature for their age is a prodigy, exceptional, uncommon, =
not normal. You can't go by their outlying example to predict the capacity=
of your randomly selected child.
I taught kids from age 3-18 in loose Parks and Rec formats for 15 years in =
several different cities. The kids loved me and seemed to relate well to t=
he projects I offered them, especially the challenging ones where they had =
to determine what the project was. But I learned, through working directly=
with them, what the limits of their capacity seemed to be on average. I p=
ushed that limit every class and had a few remarkable children who worked c=
ompletely outside the norm. As those children emerged, I taught them diffe=
rently and pushed them hardest of all.
I recently have been beaten about the head by someone who insists that thei=
r charges in kindergarten are capable of reading at 2nd grade level. My re=
sponse is "to what end? why is that even a desirable goal?" It gives the =
parents something to brag about, but it makes me wonder what reading materi=
al that is relevant to being 5 is written at 2nd grade level. It seems very=
precocious, but the 5 year old still needs to take the time to grow into t=
he next age. So it is kind of like teaching a bear to dance or a tiger to =
jump through a hoop of fire. Why? To establish dominance over the lesser =
beasts and to amuse are the only answers. I think kids are worth better t=
han that and allowing them to develop at a natural pace has great value. W=
hich gets back around to play as a very important activity for children.
Adults need to kick it and relax in order to relax. They need to engage th=
eir minds on a higher level of thinking in order to produce higher quality =
work. Dabbling and play activity is a good warm up for adult work.
So play with your kids, and take heed when they stumble upon good ideas, bu=
t work on your reasoning skills if you want your work to grow and evolve.
My 2 cents, unedited to make it soft and friendly, but sincere.
Beaufort, NC - USA
phil on tue 23 mar 10
Hi Elizabeth, all...
I would say, the idea of 'The Company Store' is well worth pausing to
these and related musings and explores...
Though who can see it? To do so?
I read a quote once, in which someone had said - "Life is a mixture...of th=
given, and, the construed."
I imagine they meant to say, "Human experience, or, such permissible or
tolerable portions of it as one accepts or inhabits, would seem to be a
confluence of both whatever 'givens' the person accepted, and, however it i=
their construences proceed from there, effected or conditioned by the
Our perceptions of or attributions about 'creativity', it seems to me, are
very much about that.
But then, so is a lot else...maybe, everything ( else ) even...
----- Original Message -----
From: "Elizabeth Priddy"
Subject: children and synthetic reasoning
> Children are not more creative than adults. Children lack the ability to
> discern reality from make-believe as a developmental skill well up to the
> 9th year. So their lack of mental inhibition and freedom, which many
> interpret as greater creativity, is simple ignorance.
> It is refreshing to work with them as this alternate view of the world
> helps us step back and enjoy life in an uninhibited way.
> In adults, though, creativity is genuine and a result of the capacity for
> synthetic reasoning. How much you know and how willing you are to
> research and experiment provide leverage for intelligent adults to put
> discrete pieces of information together in unique ways. That crazy
> perspective that makes you say, "I never would have thought to do that,"
> is a result of increased organization of the mind, not less. And
> intelligence of this kind rarely tests well, so IQ and SAT's won't help
> you find individuals that can do this well. Success is a good indicator.
> That is why children like puzzles but are ill-equipped to solve a great
> proportion of them.
>>>>>>>>>>> snip <<<<<<<<<<<<
> Elizabeth Priddy
> Beaufort, NC - USA