It starts with research that shows how young minds are much more imaginative, but older folks are more traditional and limited when asked to explain things.
Buit, how about this:
But there was a different pattern when it came to the social problems. Once again the preschoolers were more likely to give the creative explanation than were the 6-year-olds or adults. Now, however, the teenagers were the most creative group of all. They were more likely to choose the unusual explanation than were either the 6-year-olds or the adults.
At least an argument for multi-generational input!
The explanation offered might help us think our way into a new vision of ageing:
The answer: Childhood and adolescence may, at least in part, be designed to resolve the tension between exploration and exploitation. Those periods of our life give us time to explore before we have to face the stern and earnest realities of grown-up life. Teenagers may no longer care all that much about how the physical world works. But they care a lot about exploring all the ways that the social world can be organized. And that may help each new generation change the world.
I like to think that, at our best, we are often just like teenagers, precisely because we are no longer responsible for everything. We can dream and imagine — but with the benefit of a lifetimes of learning, including our mistakes and unfulfilled dreams. So, as we move our community into a broader outreach and learning mode, maybe we are more ready than we realize. All we need is the practical support.
Any ideas for how to do the research to explore this? In our strategic plan?