The Paw Print

Do schools kill creativity?

Kaitlin Darche, Features Editor/ Photographer

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From a young age, children are forced to conform to a standardized school system that pushes creative ideas to the darkest corners of their brains. Education should not just be measured through a scoring system of letters and numbers. Instead, creativity, teamwork, and curiosity should be implemented into the curriculum, as they are all essential to the way children learn.
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of learning is “the activity or process of gaining knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught, or experiencing something.” The human mind is curious in nature. From birth children explore and create because of curiosity. Opening new ideas and coming up with solutions that adults couldn’t even imagine is all part of the way a child learns.
Unfortunately, this does not always happen. The education system needs to implement more time for thinking outside of the box and less about memorizing useless facts. They forget the connection between intellect and emotions by forgetting imagination.
Ken Robinson, an education reformer and one of the leading thinkers on creativity, innovation, and learning, believes that the talents of children are squashed by the education system and are molded into test-taking machines. Classrooms have been promoted from learning environments to factory assembly lines.
To get the classroom more creativity, teachers can introduce new learning materials like Ted Talks rather than strictly having students read pages out of a textbook. Encouraging discussions into the lesson gets the students more involved and engaged instead of sitting in a desk listening to a lecture. Having debates and discussions in class gives students the ability to communicate ideas clearly and respectfully. Having this skill will help them in many areas of their life.
In math classes there are certain ways to solve specific problems that should be taught, but these must be seen as a tiny piece of the bigger picture. For a mathematician to be creative, they don’t just successfully solve one problem. Instead, it is the application of both traditional and creative skills that will support the development. Encouraging students to use more than one way to solve an equation will boost their creativity.
Businesses around the world are embracing creativity inside the workplace. The most successful businesses practice the 20 percent rule. This rule allows employees 20 percent of their work time to thinking creatively and exploring new ideas. In 2010, International Business Machines (IBM) conducted a survey on over 1,500 executives worldwide, finding that creativity is valued as the most important business skill. If the learning material is more creative, there is likely chance that the students will be more engaged into the lesson.
Having more teachers and administration realize that creativity is needed in school will help the students later on in the future. Realizing that lessons need more than just facts and details will create a better understanding for the students.
Bringing up topics that relate back to the students will get them more engaged. Having topics that bring up world issues will make them think of solutions to the problems rather than just complaining about it. By doing this, the students will help them to communicate their ideas and opinions better and think critically about their classmate’s opinions.
Even in gym classes creativity can be achieved. On Mondays and Fridays the physical education teachers have to students run back and forth to certain amount of time. After that students have a choice between certain sports to play or walking around the track. To bring more creativity into these areas will actually want students to participate. Playing games that interests students and contain physical activity will create an environment for them to cool down for a period and just have fun and creative.
Instead of focusing more on a letter that won’t matter, focus more on the teamwork inside the classroom. Focus more on the way a student thinks differently. Not everything has to be a test to know a student learned.

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The student news site of Plainfield South High School
Do schools kill creativity?