Humanity has come a long way since the Big Bang. We’ve evolved (physically, and mentally), adapted to physiological and technological changes, and our primary tool for prolonged existence has become our intellect. Over the recent centuries, man has learned the art of harnessing his intelligence to provide the world with a variety of inventions (technological and otherwise) that have vastly improved people’s quality of life. Creativity was fostered and nurtured on many fronts, as it fueled development in different areas of life.
Today, however, the social construct has been altered to a great extent, such that creativity is not encouraged at educational institutions any longer. Now, this might come as a surprise to most of us. Schools are supposed to be anything but ‘stiflers’ of creativity. We would assume that schools are the cradles where a child’s creativity is cultivated. While the premise of this argument is theoretically correct, practically – the narrative is entirely different.
It is true that schools provide attention to different genres of education, and allow subjects such as arts, theatre, and the spoken word to thrive. However, the introduction of a rigid syllabus code and the addition of standardized exams have merely made creativity a peripheral concept in the lives of children.
Children are creative by nature. They are pretty receptive to their surroundings and different circumstances, and they are not afraid to make mistakes. Students learn a lot by making mistakes. In fact, making mistakes is an exciting way of developing new ideas. It nurtures creativity. However, the minute they start schooling, they are put on some “academic leash.” Being academically oriented, mistakes are not encouraged norm, and schools are quick to point out when children make mistakes. This has resulted in the development of a fear psychosis, where students are afraid of making any mistake. Hence, children stick to their textbooks and don’t find the need to think outside the box — this curbs creativity to a great extent.
Intelligence is an individualistic concept – different children study and learn at different speeds, and have different interests. Talent is diverse; different children are blessed with different talents. Not all of them would shine in academics. They may showcase their skills and interests in various avenues. However, schools judge intelligence based on marks and GPA scores. Schools have promoted this false idea that achieving high marks and grades translate to being intelligent. So, those who don’t do well academically are left to think that they aren’t as smart as their peers, while in reality, they are probably gifted in some other forte. This results in these kids focusing all their energy on getting the best grade, and they don’t have time to explore their talents.
Creativity is the key to advancement. Fundamental changes must be made to the education system to promote creativity, as opposed to hindering it.
By Lizzy Bennet
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