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Posted by: Roxann Stafford on 7/5/2011

Like many of you, I'm a big fan of TED. As part of my research for my series on creativity and education, I came across musician and teacher John Hunter and the World Peace Game. In 1978 Hunter created a lesson for students on Africa using a 4’x5’ plywood board, because he observed that they “learn through their bodies.” It has now evolved into a 4’x4’x4’ plexiglass multi-level world, including undersea and outer space sky levels. There are 4 countries that have a unique economic, military, environmental, social and political background. Each country has a prime minister and cabinet. The 4th graders are presented with a 13 page crisis document that has 50 interlocking problems that the groups have to solve before the game is done.

The World Peace Game is a great example of where critical and creative thinking complement each other. Problem-solving at its best is both of these things.

Posted by: Roxann Stafford on 5/9/2011

More and more businesses are recognizing that creativity is an important competitive advantage. In a 2010 IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs creativity was named as “the most important leadership quality over the next five years.” However, in another recent study of The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, Professor Kyung Hee Kim of the College of William & Mary found that “creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward.” She analyzed 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. The population most effected by the decrease is younger children, kindergarten to sixth grade; which Kim says is the “most serious” decline.

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