Book Club August Part 2: Five Minds for the Future

by Diane Wolf in Blog, Book Club
August 22, 2017 0 comments


I hope you have been having a wonderful week. Here in this part of Central Ontario, summer seems to be flying by far too quickly. I expect you may be finding the same thing where you are!

This week we are discussing the creating mind. This is one of my favourites, because I believe that being creative is such an important quality to have, but it is something that is not taught in schools very well. Many of us have had to learn to develop creativity in adulthood, and yet, it is something that children seem to naturally possess. Perhaps it is not a matter of developing it later as much as it is nurturing it from childhood so we don’t lose it. Something to ponder.

In fact, Gardner begins this chapter by pointing out that throughout history, creativity has not been valued. After all, for a society to run efficiently, you don’t want people coming up with crazy ideas on changing things. Unlike the synthesizer, who likes things to be orderly, the creative is motivated by continual change and disequilibrium.

So why is the creative so important then? Because a society will also not survive without new ideas and change. They synthesizer is important to figure out how to use and apply what is learned, but the creative is also important to figure out new ways to do things as the world changes.

How do we foster creativity in our children so that they don’t lose it? Gardner recommends having children involved in activities for which there is no right answer, so that they have to try things, fail, and figure out new ways of doing things. He suggests that teachers become more open to children finding different ways to solve puzzles. I remember in school losing marks on a math test once because I used a shortcut to get to the right answer, and the teacher wanted me to show all my work.. that WAS all my work… I was creative enough to figure out a shortcut, and instead of being rewarded, I was punished for not following the exact process that he had deemed the ‘right one.’ No wonder by the time I was an adult, I joked that I had the creativity of a rock. I felt that creativity was something to be pushed aside. The sad thing about this is that I was a naturally curious, creative child, so this did squelch something inside me. The good news is that in my 40s, I made a deliberate effort to revive that dormant creativity.

Gardner closes the chapter by noting that totalitarian governments find ways to stamp out creativity. This is frightening. I do understand what he is saying. A society that requires unquestioning loyalty to leadership cannot afford to have people who are creative thinkers finding new ways of doing things. We need to make sure this doesn’t happen, and it starts by fostering creativity both in the children around us, and ourselves.

As always, if you know of someone who would enjoy receiving these emails, send them to:

This week, I am going to post these emails on my website as a blog so people can access them directly there, if they prefer.





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