Can Creativity Be Taught?

Yes, creativity skills can be learned. Not from sitting in a lecture, but by learning and applying creative thinking processes.

Here is an abstract from a study on The Effectiveness of Creativity Training:

Over the course of the last half century, numerous training programs intended to develop creativity capacities have been proposed. In this study, a quantitative meta-analysis of program evaluation efforts was conducted.

Based on 70 prior studies, it was found that well-designed creativity training programs typically induce gains in performance with these effects generalizing across criteria, settings, and target populations. Moreover, these effects held when internal validity considerations were taken into account.

An examination of the factors contributing to the relative effectiveness of these training programs indicated that more successful programs were likely to focus on the development of cognitive skills and the heuristics involved in skill application, using realistic exercises appropriate to the domain at hand.

The implications of these observations for the development of creativity through educational and training interventions are discussed along with directions for future research.


George Land’s Creativity Test

In 1968, George Land conducted a research study to test the creativity of 1,600 children ranging in ages from three-to-five years old who were enrolled in a Head Start program. This was the same creativity test he devised for NASA to help select innovative engineers and scientists. The assessment worked so well he decided to try it on children. He re-tested the same children at 10 years of age, and again at 15 years of age. The results were astounding.

Test results amongst 5 year olds: 98% Test results amongst 10 year olds: 30% Test results amongst 15 year olds: 12% Same test given to 280,000 adults: 2%

“What we have concluded,” wrote Land, “is that non-creative behavior is learned.”

(Source: (creativity at work, n.d.))



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