Dr. Robert Strenberg, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, specializes in determining what makes people successful in life. Through his research, he has determined that Imagination and Creativity are just as important as intelligence.
Today our schools are placing a great deal of emphasis on test taking, grades and the classic IQ: Intelligence Quotients. Parents, wanting their children to be successful in life, often worry about how these things will affect their children’s futures. In Dr. Strenberg’s groundbreaking research reveals that creativity is just as important for a child to be academically successful. In fact, he found that being a creative individual substantially improves a young person’s college success.
“Intelligence is certainly important, but it’s only part of the equation,” Dr. Strenberg says. “Intelligence and imagination are both essential to a child’s success and in the future.” He adds further, “Parents (and teachers) should also be thinking about what they can do to boost children’s imaginations. One of the best things they can do is nurture creativity from an early age.”
So what can parents and teachers do to supercharge imagination and creativity through the arts?
- Provide opportunities for children to be creative. Supplement arts related activities in school with classes like Abrakadoodle and activities at home. The average public elementary school provides its students only 26 hours of visual arts instruction a year.*
- Ask questions and present challenges – Ask “What if the sun came up at night?” and “What would it be like if..you lived underground like a mole?”
- Generate ideas – provide art supplies and encourage kids to record their ideas, anywhere and anytime.
- Explore other points of view – Challenge children to come up with different endings to stories or see an experience through someone else’s eyes.
- Encourage collaboration – try group projects in which children add something to a picture in succession
- Make these experiences fun and though-provoking!
*Source: American Art Education Association