Eco-Living Magazine

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Posted on the 20 November 2011 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Kids Say the Darndest ThingsIf you listen to kids, they can provide some incredible insight. Years ago there was the show “Kids Say the Darndest Things” hosted by Art Linkletter (and reprised a few years back with Bill Cosby as the emcee).

Ken Robinson put it well in a talk for RSA. He brings up the concept of “divergent thinking.” It is not the same as creativity. Rather, he calls it an “essential capacity for creativity. It’s the ability to see lots of possible answers to a question; lots of possible ways of interpreting a question.”  Here is the time stamped link to a video of Robinson explaining divergent thinking. In particular, Robinson refers to a study from Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future Today. In the book, there is a long-term study that tested this notion of divergent thinking. It looked at a group of 1,500 kindergartners and how they performed on a test of their ability to think “divergently”, or what Steve Jobs may have called “Thinking Differently.” According to the study, 98% of kindergartners scored at the genius level. As they aged, they were re-tested and the percentage achieving “genius” status declined with each successive test.

With that in mind I present my precocious five year old nephew Benjamin. Over the summer, my brother-in-law relayed the following anecdote. Mind you, it’s been a few months, but after attending a presentation on clean energy where the speaker’s college-aged son showed up at the end and made a funny off the cuff remark to the effect of “clean power to the people.” I was reminded of Benjamin’s observation:

I don’t understand why people think solar panels are ugly, they make energy.

Well said Benjamin.

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