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Measuring and enhancing divergent thinking & creativity in kids

With each successive generation, the average intelligence quotient (IQ) has increased by 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. However, with creativity, a reverse-trend has been identified: Up until 1990, both the average creativity quotient (CQ) and intelligence quotient (IQ) had been rising. But since then, while IQ has continued its upward trend, CQ has been consistently inching downward. Furthermore, in studies of incoming college freshmen, little overlap has been found between SAT scores, which is an intelligence measure, and ideation, which is the number and uniqueness of ideas. Interestingly, ideation is the more accurate predictor of achievement outside of the classroom and therefore overall career success. Unfortunately, in the current educational standard, students are accustomed to one-right-answer questions and are hesitant to think of other possibilities or build up a pool of ideas to be evaluated later.

 

At SparcIt, we design games that enhances creativity using Edward DeBono's Pragmatic approach, in which the students are encouraged to answer in as many ways as possible. Next using J.P Guilford and Ellis Torrance's divergent thinking technique, the responses are evaluated and an “Innovation Index” is created. Moreover, to improve the index, hints and feedback are provided. Among many factors, the responses are evaluated based on:

1. Fluency: # of semantically unique responses - how many unique ways we formulate an answer or define a problem or find a solution.

2. Flexibility: # of taxonomic categories - how many different categories of responses we are able to generate.

3. Originality: Statistical infrequency of associations – how unique our responses are.

4. Elaboration: Average category size - how detailed and in-depth categories are

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Idea No. 38