Is Creativity Lost in School?

As I was watching a recent episode of The Middle a college English teachers asks one of the characters, Sue, why she is in college. Sue proceeds to tell him that it’s because she graduated from high school to which he replies, “What do you want to learn? What do you want to accomplish?”

She then replies, “Is this a test question?”

He explains to her that most people come to college because they want to expand their world view or become critical thinkers.

Sue says that’s good and begins to write that down. He stops her.

How many of our students are Sue. For how many of our students has formal schooling turned into a Sue? Follow directions. Read. Take notes. Do it for the test. Do what you’re told. Go to college because you’ve graduated from high school.

But I believe it’s even bigger than that. It goes back to Ken Robinson’s idea that schools have killed creativity. How do we, the educators change that?

I believe it’s a few things.

  1.  Teachers must be encouraged to take risks. There has to be a culture within schools and school systems where educators are comfortable trying new things and being innovative. Without moving into the year 2016, we are stuck in the last century and with it an old mindset.
  2. Encourage students to also take risks and take the time to explain what they’re doing. We want them to question and go deeper rather than just accept at face value.
  3. Add more play! We know that in Finland, students get fifteen minutes of recess for every hour they are in school with huge success. Imagine what this would do for students’ creative juices. Not only that, what might it do for ADHD, sensory issues, and on and on?
  4. Less homework. There has been so much discussion about this in the last few years. Home time is for family, sports, and extracurricular. Our students aren’t getting enough sleep; how can they think and be focused for school if they don’t have time in the evening to unwind and sleep?

It will take teamwork to make changes in our education system. These changes need to come from us, the educators, from within our system, to do what’s best for us and our students!

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Comments

  1. Love it!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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