U.S. Creativity in Question

For the first time, Americans kids are losing their once-famous creative edge, new research says. We look at the trend and how to fix it.

A sixth-grader at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, May 19, 2009, in Austin, Texas. (AP)

The headline in Newsweek is “The Creativity Crisis.” American kids with IQs headed up and “creativity quotients” headed down. 

The assertion is that since 1990, new research finds American kids demonstrating less creativity. Everybody has their explanation. TV. Videogames. Teaching to the test. No Child Left Behind. 

But if it’s true, the implications are large — economically and politically, and in terms of global competition. 

Creativity has been the American hallmark. And we need it now.

This Hour, On Point: Are we losing our creative edge? Why? And how to get it back.


Po Bronson, journalist and author. His article, “The Creativity Crisis,” was Newsweek‘s recent cover story. He’s author of “NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children.”

James Kaufman, professor of psychology and director of the Learning Research Institute at California State University at San Bernardino. He’s author of “Creativity 101.”

Robert Slavin, director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University and director of the Institute for Effective Education at the University of York in England. He’s co-author of “2 Million Children: Success for All” and creator of the “Best Evidence Encyclopedia.”

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