Are we educating the innate wisdom out of children?

Divergent thinking – creative wisdom in child education

Are we educating the innate wisdom out of children?

We have a knowing within that is aligned to the intelligence of the Universe; this intelligence is spherical in nature and not linear. This intelligence comes from an alignment to the flow of the energy of the universe that pulses throughout every being, including animals and plant life.

We can easily see the impressive harmony of the animals and plant life of the earth and the constellations of the stars in the sky. We can often be awed by the displays of beauty and majesty, but how often do we think of ourselves being from the same source?

There is actual scientific proof that all children are born creative geniuses. There was a study commissioned by NASA[i] to ascertain what made their scientists and engineers geniuses. It came down to something Land and Jarman termed ‘divergent thinking,’ which is the ability to look at a problem and come up with different solutions1 – thinking out of the box and seeing things from all angles.

Land and Jarman took the test they developed and used it on the general populace for children entering school. What they found is astonishing. 98% of children were deemed to have divergent thinking at the start of school – the curious thing is that, as their time at school embedded, the score of divergent thinking dropped significantly at every point tested, until they had only 2% of adults accessing divergent thinking.

So, what do we do with this information and what do we think is happening as children grow up? When posed this question to a year 6 class one child said; “because when we start school we feel everything and see it spherically but school is like a line where everything has to fit into that line.” A pretty wise and genius answer.

We are literally educating the genius out of children. We reduce their abilities to know and instead go about trying to task them with remembering, rather than enabling them to stay connected to the source of true intelligence, that of being a natural creative genius. Natural genius is felt and known, not attained and remembered. We only have to look at nature to be reminded of everything we are part of – natural order and harmony and an intelligence that is nothing short of amazing.

We educate our children out of fear and a desire for security above all else. We want them to know their times' tables, how to spell and how to communicate with the written form, in order to understand the world. It is true that we need to learn these skills, but we are not also learning to appreciate the natural intelligence that is all around us. We teach a reduced view of the world and life that falls short of their true wonder and majesty. A classic example of how our education system falls short is the teaching of biology and science. Now, it’s not uncommon for people to find these subjects quite dry in the way they’re presented unless they have a natural interest in them. As an adult, and with a greater understanding of how incredible our bodies are, the functioning of the body and its mechanics being beyond our comprehension most of the time, how could this ever be reduced to something dry, even boring? How do we take the love, joy and beauty out of the truth of the human body and reduce it to atoms, particles, vessels, blood, muscle, etc? We take the magic out and we make it about function.

What happens with this reduction to function, on every level, is that we inadvertently tell kids to stop being themselves.

We ask them to stop the flow and connection to their bodies and just focus on being a mind to be filled up with facts. This reduction of life to function is costing us enormous amounts. At every level in our lives, we are experiencing higher levels of child ill mental health[ii] than at any other time in history. Countries including the UK, Australia, USA, Singapore and New Zealand have taken to standardised testing as a way to measure student performance, so it is no coincidence that these countries – that have seen an increased focus on literacy and maths and a reduction in art and music in their curriculums – have also seen high increases in suicide, self-harm, depression and anxiety, to name just a few mental health issues.

It is time to listen to the evidence and start to really change the way we educate our young. It is time to honour their innate intelligence, to give them the space and time to play, show us what they already know and for us to harness this, in the trust that they can learn their ABC. Really, that is pretty simple for someone who is a creative genius…

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  • [i]

    George Land, Beth Jarman (1992), Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future – Today

  • [ii]

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  • By Vanessa McHardy, MA Integrative Child Psychotherapist

    Vanessa loves to help young people and adults to have an understanding of how they learn and how they can express all of themselves in all areas of their lives. True learning is at the heart of Vanessa’s life in all ways.

  • Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.