Nourish Minds by Feeding Curiosity, Says Creativity Expert Scott Barry Kaufman in a New Atlantic Piece
In his latest article for The Atlantic, cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman targets the misinformation that limits how we educate and are educated. It begins, he says, by acknowledging that children express their “giftedness” in different, often immeasurable ways.
“Motivation should not be considered simply a catalyst for the development of other forms of giftedness, but should be nurtured in its own right.”— Scott Barry Kaufman, The Atlantic
A leader at the forefront of intelligence, creativity, and personality development, Kaufman’s article draws on the work of numerous landmark studies, expanding on what they often failed to show—that intellect and “giftedness” frequently stem from the kind of environment a child is raised in. Inherent cognitive skills and IQ levels, he argues, offer a different set of skills than the “motivationally gifted.”
Like his colleague Angela Duckworth, Kaufman is fascinated by the newly-defined skill set known as grit, which entails motivation and curiosity more than natural talent. As Kaufman writes in Scientific American, drawing on Duckworth’s research, “Many of the highest achievers find ways to incorporate both dreaming and doing into their work. Educators that combine the two can be an inspiration for students, setting them up for success in the classroom and beyond.”
Back in The Atlantic, Kaufman writes that “These findings have deep implications for gifted-and-talented education, as well as for education more generally. For one, they suggest that gifted curiosity is a distinct characteristic that contributes uniquely to academic success.” Changing the way we think about these separate conceptions of intelligence will help us build a more diverse range of students.
In his books Ungifted and Wired to Create, Kaufman writes sensitively and scientifically on our need for a more expansive metric in viewing both intelligence and success in schools. Fusing original research with firsthand experience, Kaufman’s keynotes challenge the conventions that surround—and inhibit—personal creative potential, speaking to those interested in cultivating a keener sense of individual intelligence.