Updated: Jul 25
In 1968, George Land (with Beth Jarman) conducted a research study to test the creativity of 1,600 children ranging in ages from three-to-five years old who were enrolled in a Head Start program. This was the same creativity test he devised for NASA to help select innovative engineers and scientists. The assessment worked so well he decided to try it on children. He re-tested the same children at 10 years of age, and again at 15 years of age (a longitudinal study).
The proportion of people who scored at the “Genius Level”, were:
amongst 5-year-olds: 98%
amongst 10-year-olds: 30%
amongst 15-year-olds: 12%
Same test given to 280,000 adults (average age of 31): 2%
According to Land, the primary reason for this is that there are two types of thinking processes when it comes to creativity:
Convergent thinking: where you judge ideas, criticize them, refine them, combine them and improve them, all of which happens in your conscious thought.
Divergent thinking: where you imagine new ideas, original ones which are different from what has come before but which may be rough to start with, and which often happens subconsciously.
He notes that throughout school, we are teaching children to try and use both kinds of thinking at the same time, which is impossible. Competing neurons in the brain will be fighting each other, and it is as if your mind is having a shouting match with itself. Instead of this, Land suggests we need to allow people to split their thinking processes into the various different states, to make each of them more effective. It’s something which all of my own learning strongly correlates with as well, and which I speak about in my own lectures.
So, if you want your child to retain their ability and desire to be creative, encourage them to let their mind run free while they come up with ideas, and only afterwards to sit down, evaluate them and start working on the ones they think are the best.
After reading this summary of an excerpt from Break Point and Beyond, I had some personal conclusions. First, we are created in the image of God (the Creator); therefore, we ARE creative. My second thought based on the study results was noncreative behavior is learned!
What correlations do you see between creativity and faith?
What about divergent thinking and revelatory truth?
I invite you to embrace your creative potential. Pull it out with childlike faith. Heaven flows to earth through us! We are an expression of God’s creative excellence!
“Learn this well: Unless you dramatically change your way of thinking and become teachable like a little child, you will never be able to enter in. Whoever continually humbles himself to become like this little child is the greatest one in heaven’s kingdom realm.”
Matthew 18:3-4 TPT
“Listen carefully and open your heart. Drink in the wise revelation that I impart. You’ll become winsome and wise when you treasure the beauty of my words. And always be prepared to share them at the appropriate time. For I’m releasing these words to you this day, yes, even to you, so that your living hope will be found in God alone, for he is the only one who is always true. Pay attention to these excellent sayings of three-fold things. For within my words, you will discover true and reliable revelation. They will give you serenity so that you can reveal the truth of the word of the one who sends you. Never oppress the poor or pass laws with the motive of crushing the weak. For the Lord will rise to plead their case and humiliate the one who humiliates the poor. Walk away from an angry man or you’ll embrace a snare in your soul by becoming bad-tempered just like him. Why would you ever guarantee a loan for someone else or promise to be responsible for someone’s debts? For if you fail to pay you could lose your shirt! The previous generation has set boundaries in place. Don’t you dare move them just to benefit yourself. If you are uniquely gifted in your work, you will rise and be promoted. You won’t be held back— you’ll stand before kings!”
Proverbs 22:17-29 TPT