We’ve all heard stories of famously successful, innovative adults who performed poorly in school. Classrooms do not always foster the gifts of the creative, eccentric student who seems to think unconventionally, only exerts effort in pursuits that he or she finds interesting, or has a personality that can be disruptive in school settings.
A research project at the University of Kansas, “Searching for Tomorrow’s Innovators: Profiling Creative Adolescents,” tackles this problem by studying the biographies of famous creative people in order to develop profiles that can reliably identify the creatively gifted. More reliable identification of this population certainly seems necessary—researchers noted that one third of students who fit the profiles for creative giftedness had never been identified for gifted programs. And recognizing and nourishing creative talent seems more important now than ever, as creativity is on the decline among American children and as states consider assessing schools on their ability to foster creativity. You can read more about the University of Kansas study here. For a more detailed guide to promoting creativity in your school, see our book, Educating for Creativity and Innovation.