Vulnerability and The Creative Brain
Creative people are known for being good at making connections. Often reveling in divergent thinking, creative thinkers tend to take knowledge accumulated in multi-disciplinary studies throughout the course of time and find interlinking ideas between them. In a society where new jobs are being invented every day, how the brain processes and creates connections between different disciplines is an evolving topic for educational research.
An alarming new research study shows that creative people are being linked to having suffered at higher rates of mental illness. In a study completed by PBS on “Connecting Strength and Vulnerability to the Creative Brain,” researchers found that over 80% mood disturbance was linked to creative families (such as the Vonnegut family), as opposed to 30% of the control group. While the study showcased families like the Vonnegut family, and other writers, it also explored other creative personalities such as filmmakers, mathematicians, and other highly creative minds.
How is this relevant for educators? Identifying creative genius and being able to understand what students go through is something most educators should be aware of in each of their classrooms. The research shows that most of highly creative student population could be described as being an autodidacts. These are usually persistent learners who show signs of enjoying multiple disciplines. Most of the time these children can get bored with education and/or become misfits in the current system. What would happen if we found ways to help these students champion their creativity using space?