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Dr. Diamond: How to develop the critical skill of creativity in children. Let's explore!

creativity educational videos executive functions

Dr. Adele Diamond was educated Swarthmore, Harvard and Yale and is recognized as one of the 15 most influential neuroscientists live today. Fortunately for the children of the world, she was instrumental in founding the research field of developmental cognitive neuroscience. A mouthful, I know. Here's an easier version: Her specialty is the development of executive functions in children.

She describes executive functions as "The cognitive toolkit for success," or as another researcher describes them, "The deliberate goal directed control of behavior."

Terms, you may have heard of "grit," "growth mindset," "the marshmallow test," these are all in the domain of executive functions. And research shows that executive functions are better than IQ as a predictor of success in school at every level from elementary school through college. In fact, perseverance and discipline or grit, as Dr. Angela Duckworth calls it, accounts for over twice as much variation in grades as IQ. 

The three core executive functions are inhibitory control, working memory and cognitive flexibility.  And when we think of creativity, ranked as one of the most desired of the 21st Century skills children will need, you can immediately see that all three core executive functions are the seat of creativity.

So how do we foster them, and create environments where the critical skill of creativity can be developed and not stifled?

Here's a wonderful video from Dr. Diamond.

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