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ERIC Number: EJ1000390
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr-1
Pages: 0
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Creativity: A Cure for the Common Curriculum
Berrett, Dan
Chronicle of Higher Education, Apr 2013
Einstein was blessed with a rare genius. He also understood the intellectual weight of a flight of fancy. He turned over the idea in his mind for a decade before concluding that the light beam next to him would appear to be at rest even though it was traveling at the speed of light. While it may be tempting to focus on Einstein's cognitive supremacy, it makes more sense, faculty at some colleges believe, to train students in how innovative thinkers like him use the tools of creativity to solve problems. Today's students will need such tools to tackle the problems they stand to inherit. Climate change, income inequality, and escalating health-care costs cannot be remedied by technocratic solutions alone, say advocates of teaching creativity. Knowledge will need to be combined across disciplines, and juxtaposed in unorthodox ways. A growing appreciation of the practical and societal value of creative thinking has prompted colleges to make it compulsory. Starting this fall, Stanford University, for instance, will require incoming students to take a course in "creative expression" as part of its new general-education curriculum. Students at Carnegie Mellon University's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences must satisfy a "creating" requirement, in which they produce a painting, poem, musical performance, piece of technology, or design an experiment or mathematical proof. And Bryant University requires students to take a first-year seminar in design thinking. Adrian College, in Michigan, started an Institute for Creativity to weave the subject into the curriculum. The University of Kansas and the City University of New York recently adopted new general-education requirements that students in all disciplines take a course to develop their creative skills. One of the earliest and most pervasive efforts is at the University of Kentucky, which started in the fall of 2011 to require its undergraduates, who number more than 20,000, to take a three-credit course in creativity. The goal in developing students' creative skills, say these institutions, is to train them to look at familiar problems or sets of data and view them from a fresh perspective.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A