Eureka!Posted: April 13, 2012
I’m reading Imagine: How Creativity Works, by Jonah Lehrer, and about a third of the way in, after this well-known Picasso quote: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
“From the perspective of the brain, Picasso is exactly right, as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, the part of the brain that is most closely linked to impulse control, the part that artists learn how to ‘turn off’ when sketching or improvising) is the last brain area to fully develop. This helps to explain why young children are so effortlessly creative; their censors don’t yet exist. But then the brain matures and we become too self-conscious to improvise, too worried about saying the wrong thing, or playing the wrong note, or falling off the surfboard. It’s also the point that the infamous ‘fourth grade slump’ in creativity sets in, as students suddenly stop wanting to make art in the classroom.” (p. 109-110).
So if we’re training kids in artsmaking from K, we are in fact priming their ability to switch off the DLPFC, thus giving them a more effective pathway to creative thinking across every sphere, and making them more effective people wherever they end up.
We’ve gotta start in K.
And you’ve all got to read this book.