Thursday, April 15, 2010

Teachers don't really like creative kids

I found this at Andrew Sullivan's blog. Some researchers did a two-part study. First they took a bunch of personality characteristics associated by psychologists with creativity, things like individualism, risk-seeking, accepting authority or not, and asked some teachers to rate their most and least favorite kids based on those characteristics. They liked creative kids less and uncreative kids more. No surprise. I remember junior high.

But teachers claim they like working with creative kids. So they looked at the characteristics that teachers associated with creativity, and they were not the same. They like kids who match their idea of creative.

Early in my senior year in high school, our 150-year-old civics teacher was talking about civil dissent and asked how it would be appropriate to say bad things about or to the government. The correct answer was apparently to petition the government for redress of grievances. I piped up instead with going to Hyde Park, the spot in London where crazy people stand on milk crates and harangue passersby. She thought I meant Hyde Park, New York, where her hero, Franklin D. Roosevelt, lived and is buried in the rose garden. My senior year went downhill from there.

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