Zoom Killing Creativity: Are Schools or Parents to Blame?

Killing Creativity: Are Schools or Parents to Blame?

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Part of the Series : Child of Our Time: A Year-by-Year Study of Childhood Development (12 Parts) | Child of Our Time 2013

If we’re all born with creative potential, why do many children lose their inventive tendencies as they grow older? What role does organized education play? This program observes a group of 25 seven-year-olds and their families in order to study childhood creativity, why it frequently fades, and why it matters. Exploring the impact of school and whether or not it dampens the creative impulse, the program looks at ways adults can encourage and promote imagination, curiosity, and originality. In addition, the children take part in activities that reveal the precarious state of their natural ingenuity. They are asked to draw a man who could not possibly exist, to address Santa Claus through a live web link, and to examine, if they dare, a “monster in a box.” A BBC/Open University Co-production. Original broadcast title: Killing Creativity.

Closed Captioned

Creativity at Home and School (04:01)
An artistic father who makes a living from his artwork encourages his 7-year-old son to indulge in his creativity. At school, however, the boy focuses on the "3 Rs" in preparation for national exams. Creative activities are limited.

Imagination and Anxiety (03:55)
A 7-year-old girl and her mother have a close relationship and are both creative. Highly imaginative, the child also conjures up anxieties about the tension in her home. The realities of life are beginning to crush her fantasy world.

Children Distinguish Fiction from Reality (01:44)
Most 7-year-olds can distinguish between real people and fictional figures. Shown photographs of Superman, some children think he's real, however. Another recognizes that the actor is real but that the character is not.

Children and Their Imaginations (04:04)
Children need to experience new things to be creative. A mother encourages her son to find answers to his questions and to experiment with ideas and things. Highly imaginative, the boy has an invisible friend that lives under his bed.

Adult Creativity: Does It Carry Over to Their Children? (04:40)
A creative mother and her daughter score high in a creativity exercise. A very creative father, however, does not have a very creative son. Why is this? His son Matthew is more interested in football than the arts.

Creativity and Curiosity (01:34)
A child's level of curiosity may be related to his level of creativity. Matthew, who has two creative parents, is more interested in practical things. Even his curiosity is based in practicality.

Learning Disabilities and Creativity (04:20)
Ethan, a 7-year-old boy shows limited interest in creative activities and also demonstrates little curiosity. His mother is protective of him. Ethan's ADHD makes it hard for him to concentrate. His medication makes him docile.

Knowledge and Originality (01:25)
Knowledge is important, but it may also be the enemy of originality. A group of 7-year-olds draw what they think their internal anatomy looks like. Children vary in their knowledge and in their creativity.

Fathers and Sons: Supportive Relationships (04:21)
An artistic father must give up his studio work and move his family closer to the city. His son, who also wants to be an artist, is sad. A father gets his son's eyes tested to determine if reading problems are related to poor eyesight.

Children Cope With Losses (01:59)
After 7-year-old Calvin gets glasses to help him with reading, he learns that his step-father of 4 years is leaving the family. Calvin is affected by the loss of his biological father as well as his step-father. How will reality affect his imagination?

When Imagination is Overwhelming (01:52)
Seven-year-olds describe a make-believe monster in a box. Some conjure up a fierce monster, while others imagine a friendly one. When told not to open the boxes, children's reactions differ. One child leaves the room out of fear.

ADHD, Anxiety, and Safety (02:32)
Seven-year-old Ethan, diagnosed with ADHD, becomes anxious in the grocery store at closing time, and worries about getting back home. Ethan has trouble managing his fears. Once home, he seeks safety in video games. His mother approves.

Creativity as Problem Solving (02:05)
Creativity requires people to work things out and find solutions. Parents and children try to solve a particular problem. A boy whose mother does not believe in creativity takes twice as long as everyone else to solve the problem.

Creativity vs. Basic Education (03:32)
A creative mother worries that her daughter's school does not pay enough attention to education basics. Her daughter, a highly imaginative child, does not like to read. The power of her imagination often overwhelms her and she becomes anxious.

Shyness and a Child's Imagination (05:05)
Matthew, a 7-year-old boy who is shy, finds it difficult to engage in a creativity exercise with a stranger. A talented older brother may overshadow his imagination, and he often becomes destructive rather than compete with his brother on a creative level.

Creativity and Stress (02:40)
Nathan's parents encourage his creativity. When the family moves, the boy's creativity does not seem to diminish under the stress.

Importance of Friendship in a Child's Life (02:21)
Diagnosed with ADHD and medicated for over a year, Ethan appears more rooted in the real world and has been able to make a friend. He introduces his new friend to the world of video games. Mother does not care whether her son is creative.

Parental Guidance and Children's Creativity (04:12)
An artistic father encourages the artistic interests and talents of 7-year-old Matthew. A creative child's mother expresses her creativity in the business world. Children learn to balance creativity, fantasy, fears, and reality as best they can.

Length: 60 minutes

Copyright Date: 2007

Killing Creativity: Are Schools or Parents to Blame?



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