“My teacher made me stupider.” I read it on a bumper sticker. Is it true? As teachers* do we contribute to our children's intelligence or are we making them stupider? Creativity is the ability to produce original thought. Is there any higher level of thinking than creativity? At what age does our creativity soar? When my son was three, he constantly questioned, he explored, he delved and he burst forth with original thoughts. Some of his thoughts were not original to the world but they were all original to him. Now my son is thirty. He is an intelligent man but he does not have the same thirst for learning that he had when he was three. Why? Do we naturally lose our thirst for learning and our creativity as we mature and make sense of the world or is that creativity squelched by well-meaning adults? When we say to a child, “Sit down. Shut up. Now unscrew the lid on your head and stay still while I pour from the pitcher of knowledge.” are we making the child smarter or stupider? To what degree should our children be coddled and organized by adults and to what degree should they be free to explore and discover? At what point does it become counterproductive to instruct and guide a child? How can one be a teacher or responsible parent without extinguishing the flame that glows within a small child? Under what conditions could my son have grown up to be more creative at thirty than he was at three? Comments, anyone!
*Teachers = Anyone who instructs (i.e. parents, grandparents, school teachers )