Ashley Merryman

Forget Brainstorming

Brainstorming in a group became popular in 1953 with the publication of a business book, "Applied Imagination." But it's been proven not to work since 1958, when Yale researchers found that the technique actually reduced a team's creative output: the same number of people generate more and better ideas separately than together.

The Creativity Crisis

Back in 1958, Ted Schwarzrock was an 8-year-old third grader when he became one of the "Torrance kids," a group of nearly 400 Minneapolis children who completed a series of creativity tasks newly designed by professor E. Paul Torrance. Schwarzrock still vividly remembers the moment when a psychologist handed him a fire truck and asked, "How could you improve this toy to make it better and more fun to play with?"

A Cure for ADHD?

One out of four cases of ADHD eliminated. It almost sounds too good to be true. Nevertheless, a report in the preeminent journal Pediatrics suggests it's possible.What needs to happen for this to occur?

The Problem with Teaching Kids about Stranger Danger

On Saturday, The New York Times ran a thoughtful piece by Jan Hoffman about whether kids can walk to school by themselves. In the US, just 13% of kids are walking or biking to school, down from 41% in 1969. (That drop, as steep as it is, is nothing compared to what's happened in the UK: Gill Valentine found that, in 1971, 80% of British children were responsible for getting themselves to school.

What Do Children Understand About God?

 AM Note: While I began this post with a personal anecdote, the remainder of the piece is based on the work of scientists studying child development. Because a few people have asked about citations, I'm including a few sources at the end of the piece; it's not a complete list of my reading on the topic, but it does include some of the key work. Every Sunday, you can find me in church.