Jeannine Ouellette’s puzzling article [“The Death & Life of American Imagination”] seems to cite the regimentation of children’s lives and the role of technology as a threat to the development of imagination. As a girl in the ’50s and ’60s, I faced far more restrictions to my imagination and free play than any kid today.
But the greatest threat to imagination goes unmentioned: the intrusion of religion into the schools. It may not seem so bad here in Minneapolis, but there are parts of the country where the schools are not focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). They are afraid to teach anything that might threaten third century AD notions of cosmology or biology. There is a brain drain due to restrictions on research (stem cells, etc.) and government science is censored on the subjects of reproductive health and climate change.
Minneapolis doesn’t have to do all this to limit the development of its children, however. Its school board has merely decreed that education be withheld from anyone not rich, not white, or not a resident of the southwest quadrant of the city.