Friday, 7 February 2014

Creative Intelligence - Do we care to understand its importance?

A recent newspaper headline in TOI caught my attention ‘Patna students plot to hunt Dawood, go broke and return’.  It got my attention because kids were involved and it also involved a ridiculous plan which I admired about the young kids. The gist- 3 students inspired by films and TV planned to make some quick money by apprehending Dawood. They ran away from home as they were bored with studies. They reached all the way to Kolkatta for their mission before they realized the futility and also because they ran out of funds. But the plot was quite intelligent, they even tried to approach Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal legislator for funding!

Their teacher on condition of anonymity said that these three boys were least bothered about their studies. This is where I would like to mention about creative intelligence and the weak teacher training that our teachers are exposed to. World over schools are now talking about a new intelligence CQ- Creative Intelligence. Steve Jobs, Mick Jagger and more have all proved that success can be gained through creative thinking and innovative ideas. These boys should not be written off, let’s look at what all these so called ‘not bothered about studies’, boys were able to achieve by creative thinking skills.

1.       They were quite aware about current affairs and were aware that they should chase Dawood for maximum benefit. They were quite sensible or else they would have chased a film star.

2.       Their plan was thought about for the benefit to both, themselves and society- getting rid of a Don.

3.       They planned well to approach for ‘funding’ for their idea.

4.       They travelled all the way to Kolkatta, showing independence, self esteem and determination.

5.       They ran out of money and had the common sense to head back home. They knew when to give up.

Yes, one cannot applaud them but one should not ridicule them also. They need to be made to understand about right and wrong of their plan. They had creative intelligence; they need to be groomed in creative planning and thinking. Think about it, if groomed well by a good teacher or adult these 3 boys can become a success story as innovative thinkers. But sadly these children will be lost in the education system and will be labeled as pranksters, bullies, run aways - a stigma that will only push them to the brink and maybe end up on the other side of the social structure.

But just for a moment I would like to imagine the scenario if they are helped to understand the right and wrong, the pros and cons of their act, they would be groomed into independent decision makers, kids who are confident of their ideas and who would now be more cautious about planning and implementation.

Its time our teachers and parents understand potential in children and learn to recognize, tap and nurture it at the right time, in the right manner. Teacher training courses can help train teachers and teachers can then be role models for parents. Think about the number of children who will benefit, think of the pool of ‘genius’, ‘gifted and talented’ that we will be able to nurture from the children presently in our schools and colleges.

If their teacher is unable to help these three boys, maybe other teachers and parents can use this example to talk to kids and help them understand that actions become good or bad with good or bad decisions. And decision making is a skill that can be learned. It’s time we stopped bringing up generations on silly grades, report cards and marks. Let us mark the destiny of our kids by gifting them creative intelligence but first let us all understand its importance. A wonderful book I would recommend- Creative Intelligence, by Bruce Nussbaum.