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Creativity and Achievement: Running Backwards

Cities and metropolitan areas are built on the creative ideas and the innovations of their citizens. More than intelligence, more than standardized skills, creativity is essential for economic vitality. Measured creativity has declined in school children since 1991; this decline will have a greater impact on the vitality of the region than any shortfalls in math or science.

This project will examine how educational systems support future economic growth by measuring the creative potential of school children in the metropolitan area. Brad Hokanson (Design, Housing, and Apparel) and William Bart (Educational Psychology) will evaluate the creativity of school children using the Torrance Tests and correlate ratings of creativity with standardized scores from the Minnesota Comprehensive Achievement tests. The Torrance Tests were developed at the University of Minnesota by E. Paul Torrance, who tested local school children in the late 1950s and early 1960s. With the support of the College Preparedness Consortium, Hokanson and Bart will work directly with a school district’s research office to administer creativity tests to approximately 1,000 school children, results of which will be analyzed in conjunction with student achievement scores. This study will provide a better understanding of the creative capability of the future Twin Cities, which is ultimately what will drive economic growth.

This project is a joint initiative of the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Design.


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