I couldn't help it when I read Yong Zhao's post entitled, "Doublethink: The Creativity-Testing Conflict". All I could think of was Seinfeld's Soup Nazi screaming, "No creativity for you!"
I am going to post a portion of the blog below (apologies to Edweek for posting it in its entirety previously, apparently breaking a number of copyright laws!) but here are the words I simply HAD to pen in response the Zhao's question, "I don't know how policymakers can hold, simultaneously, these two ideas, creative entrepreneurship and test-driven curriculum standardization, that both research and common sense recognize as contradictory..."?
It's called Cognitive Dissonance...welcome to the Republican Party.
As an education researcher from OKLAHOMA I truly appreciate your post!
The minute our governor stepped out to make a glowing comment on the sham of "testing to creativity", I knew I was going to have to find some specific research to point her bloodhound nose - so keen on sniffing out further little nuggets for her 'education reform' agenda - in another direction.
You have exceeded my expectations here. If she and her 'reformer' pack can't digest the specificity and truth here...well...she's only got 'til 2014!
Premium article access courtesy of Edweek.org.
...California, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma have begun exploring the development of measures to gauge the extent to which schools foster creative and entrepreneurial qualities in their students, according to a Feb. 1, 2012, article in Education Week. "What brings great test scores may hamper entrepreneurial qualities.".........
Standardized testing rewards the ability to find the "correct answer" and thus discourages creativity, which is about asking questions and challenging the status quo. A narrow and uniform curriculum deprives children of opportunities to explore and experiment with their interest and passion, which is the foundation of entrepreneurship. Constantly testing children and telling them they are not good enough depletes their confidence, which is the fuel of innovation. So, by any account, what policymakers have put in place in American schools is precisely what is needed to cancel out their desire for creative and entrepreneurial talents......
I don't know how policymakers can hold, simultaneously, these two ideas, creative entrepreneurship and test-driven curriculum standardization, that both research and common sense recognize as contradictory unless they change the slogans of 1984's Oceania, "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength" into "Standardization is Innovation, Uniformity is Creativity, and Testing is Enterprising" for education today.
So, just to follow up here, I thought it might be fun to pull some of the articles I've been saving in my "Creativity Nonsense" folder. The ones below are all those generated just in Bible-belt, Red-state, Conservative OKLAHOMA! How's that for cognitive dissonance?
First of all, did you know that Oklahoma has not only has a CREATIVITY website, but an annual Creativity Forum? Here is the picture of the website... VERY CREATIVE!!! Black and white is very artsy! Please note, lucky us, we can make a donation (for what?), become a member or even "like" them on Facebook!
This, is more troubling...Did you know that we have a South Korean researcher who will develop an Oklahoma Innovation Index?