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Line Dalile

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How Schools Are Killing Creativity

Posted: 04/10/2012 9:00 am

I speak about education from an unflattering point of view -- maybe because it is destroying our fascinating, curious minds.

I don't claim to be an expert in education. I am still a student and I speak for myself. I believe that students should have a voice in the education system today, because mainly they are the ones who are being educated. The control of education should be in the hands of students. They should be centered first and foremost.

Many people have written about ways to change education, but what good has it done if we are leaving out the voice of the students?

Years continue to pass, some students graduate, some fail out, some drop out and nothing really changes. The education system reminds me of a dictator that is unwilling to step down.

I'm aware that no education system is perfect, and I believe they are all the same across the world. We memorize, study for the test and forget, only to know 10 years later what an atrocious world we have been constructing.

I strongly feel that our methodologies in schools are demolishing creativity. Students have lost their capacity of creation simply because our teaching methods don't stimulate innovation and creativity.

Remember being a kid and wanting to play around? No one told you how to use your imagination or taught you how to be creative. You played with LEGOS. You pretended you were an astronaut and imagined traveling in space. Being naturally creative, you asked questions like "Why is the grass green?" and "Are we alone?" -- questions no wise man could answer.

Then came school, a child's worst nightmare. You learned to live in a rotten environment. You were bullied, made fun of, and you had this teacher that told you to stop dreaming and live in reality. So what did you learn at school? You learned to stop questioning the world, to go with the flow, and that there's only one right answer to each question.

The "whys" you have always wanted to ask are never on the test, and they are omitted from the curriculum.

Creativity isn't a test to take, a skill to learn, or a program to develop. Creativity is seeing things in new ways, breaking barriers that stood in front of you for some time. Creativity is the art of hearing a song that has never been written or seeing a work of art on empty canvas. Its essence is in its freshness and the ability to make dreams come to life.

Imagine this: A normal classroom with cheerful faces. Students' excitement to start school ignites the classroom. The teacher asks the students to draw a tree. Some students were talented, others were okay, and some students couldn't give a visual figure of a tree. The teacher rates every student's work. Some students get an A+, some get a D and others get a big fat F.

Those students who got A's now believe they're highly talented and artistic, but those who got an F... Well, they start to think they are losers and their works is rubbish.

From this "draw a tree" assignment, creativity starts to linger in the air and then, in time, fades away. This is why many adults say "I can't draw!"

In school, children are "taught" to draw shapes like a "perfect" triangle. Everything is "properly" drawn. Whenever a child attempts to color something, the teacher screams in panic: "Do NOT color outside the lines!"


 

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