have to agree with you, as much as I support creativity (heck look at my profile), conflating “the arts” broadly with future success is a bit of a misnomer.
I actually strongly agree with the author that all kids should be exposed to some arts at young ages, whether painting or performing, etc.
However, the distinction here between “arts” and “sciences” as if they are mutually exclusive is somewhat misleading if that is the intent.
To give the benefit of the doubt to the author, perhaps what he is speaking to is less so making the prototypical “arts” a prerequisite but rather instilling a particular mindset or perspective in our kids’ educational system.
This mindset is one of “creative intent” rather than one of “creativity.”
It’s a bit nuanced and can easily be lost in translation but in my mind there’s a key distinction between doing something “creative” or “artsy” and approaching any task with “creative intent.”
Your particularly visual example of checking for leaks in a nuclear submarine is a case in point. Def not something they teach you in art class.
However, the question in my mind is is it possible to approach the drudgery of manual maintenance of an atomic submersible with an eye towards craftsmanship?
Maintaining a nuclear submarine after all is a particular set of skills and knowledge that is pretty unique in this world and, if approached with a particular mindset, could certainly be considered a “craft” in some respects.
Basically, my view is, most anything if pursued with “creative intent” and the eye of a “craftsman” may not eliminate the drudgery of labor but may instill it with an awareness of broader context, an understanding as to how it fits into a broader set of skills and knowledge.
If then combined with a certain pride of work and a practical empathy for others, this “creative intent” can lead to ultimately creative acts, like, hypothetically, inventing a better zinc brick that doesn’t risk endangering a future junior submarine officer.
That, in my mind, is the most universal definition of creativity and one I think is certainly worth instilling in our children.