The highly creative person is "a little crazy"

Why should counselors, teachers, and administrators be concerned with the problems of creative individuals? What business is it of theirs whether or not one is highly creative? Doesn't everybody know that the highly creative person is "a little crazy" and that you can't help him anyway? If he's really creative, why does he need guidance anyway? He should be able to solve his own problems. He's creative, isn't he?

Unfortunately, these are attitudes which have long been held by some of our most eminent scholars and which still prevail rather widely. Most of the educators I know perk up when they discover a child with a high Intelligence Quotient or a high score on some other traditional measure of intellectual talent. They are impressed! Most of them are rather impressed if they discover in a child some outstanding talent for music, or art, or the like. Some counselors and psychologists even go to the trouble of testing such things as finger dexterity and speed in checking numbers and names. Not a counselor or psychologist among my acquaintance, however, bothers about obtaining measures of their client's creative thinking abilities. I was trained in counseling myself and did work as a high school and college counselor for several years, and for two years I served as the director of a university counseling bureau.

In all this time, I never did hear anyone mention a test of creative thinking. I certainly never used one! What puzzles me, however, is why I remained so ignorant of such instruments. I find now that many such tests have been developed only during the past seventy years. Descriptions of these tests are now fairly detailed and scoring procedures can be satisfactorily reproduced. The reason for this state of affairs is simply that we have not really considered this kind of talent important. This kind of talent has not been valued and rewarded in our educational system, so guidance workers have seen little reason to identify it and to try to contribute to its growth.

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