What is creativity in the school environment? Wikipedia defines creativity in education as “a way for students to be encouraged to problem solve when faced with a challenge…Instead of being taught to reiterate what was learned”. But, nowadays, schools seem to do more to harm creativity than to foster it. Education in general has been impacted by the standards and testing culture like all other disciplines, and in a lot of ways, we’ve been focusing on teaching things that are concrete. Things like math, science, and history. But, at the end of the day we’re teaching things that we can test and assess. The worst part is that students spend high school learning things that they don’t care for, and when they finally leave high school and go out in the real world, they have no idea what they want to do, because most of their lives people have been telling them what one “needs” his or her whole life. In reality, the world is demanding to innovative and creative minds to drive this nation forward. Thus, in order to change, we must have a shift in mindset.
We as a school system need more forms of education which really speak to each student’ individual ability. In the words of Sir Ken Robinson, an expert on creativity in education, “the current system was designed and conceived for a different age”. Students are living in a world of immense changes of growing complexity and interconnection. You as educators must ask yourselves: What sort of education do you need for students to flourish in this world? The answer I’m arguing for is a more natural way of learning; which is for people to learn mixed together (sophomore can take senior classes or vice versa). The current systems of education in most countries were developed in the 19th century bringing up students as if they were machines. These systems aren’t designed to mold themselves around individual differences, they’re based largely on conformity and efficient. But, with the action of reshaping school around the better ways in which people really learn, leaving kids without the impression of a “one size fits all” learning style.
“Children should be able to experiment with their creativity to find out what tasks they are best at and what they enjoy the most. If they never get to test that creativity they may end up going into the wrong field of employment.” (Vasbinder, Kaylee. “Pro/Con: Are Schools Limiting the Creativity of Students?”). Opportunities must be given to the students, and have more action be taken, rather than them waiting for an assignment to come unto their laps. High schools often divide the day into 40-minute intervals (like Math, Science, and History). This isn’t the best way to get students interested or to give them the depth of study they need. You (as the school board) need to find a style of education in which the system helps students grow and understand the world around them but, also what’s inside them.