With the introduction of the Common Core Standards, we have learned that to be more prepared for the work place and for college it is expected that students graduate with more creative thinking abilities. Problem solving is stressed. Think outside of the box is valued. Employers and colleges are looking for new ideas for everything from energy solutions to finances to customer service. The cry has come that creative minds are needed not just educated students who can spout facts and figures.
I agree. I love a class room full of students who think for themselves, who reason out answers for themselves and who come up with clever ideas for new solutions. I enjoy creative thinkers. Here is the interesting twist: Recent research shows that creative thinkers are more likely to cheat. According to Francesca Gino of Harvard University “Greater creativity helps individuals solve difficult tasks across many domains, but creative sparks may lead individuals to take unethical routes when searching for solutions to problems and tasks.” In a recent study it was found that students, who showed tendencies to being creative and imaginative, tend to make up excuses as well. This study talked about office workers who often came up with the new creative ideas for the work place also called in sick to work with creative excuses and had increased absentee -ism. This study went on to discuss the value of such workers. Are the unique solutions worth the price of missing workers? (www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2067908)
I personally feel this study is full of glaring generalities. I think it paints creative people as irresponsible and liars. Creative excuses do not lead to absenteeism anymore than left handedness leads to creativity. Continue to challenge those students who think outside the box. Let kids color outside the lines if they want to. Perhaps creative answers and/or excuses are an effect not a cause.