Creativity in the Classroom

Creativity, analytical thinking and problem solving skills are needed in all areas of life. Creativity is not only for artists, writers or musicians, as people once believed. With the uncertainty of today’s world, people need to be adaptable. The definition of intelligence includes the ability to adapt to changes in the environment. A person needs creative solutions to adapt to the ever-changing world around us. People who cannot adapt do not do well in society.

A child has a lot of things to learn. Knowledge is needed for intellectual growth. Many times, schools promote knowledge but frown on the creativity needed to put knowledge to good use. Creativity is needed for any entrepreneurial venture. Intelligence is reserved for historians, artists, and scholarly works.

Why schools don’t work anymore

The modern school system is built on 19th century philosophy. When the Industrial Revolution started, it did not take people long to discover that workers on an assembly line produced the best results in manufacturing. The assembly line insured quick production and faster profits. The philosophy then was that assembly line education that mimics factory work ethics would guarantee success in education. It would produce more efficient workers that did what needed to be done. All students would get the same information and they would all apply it in the same way to become a super-efficient and economically superior work force. As we now know, children have many different learning styles and they do not all apply their knowledge in the same ways.

Studies show that children are born with a great creative spark that declines as they get One experiment simply asked children over several years how many ways there are to use a paper clip. The same children came up with fewer ideas for using the clip each year.

Shaming of students

There is much shaming of students in education. They are afraid of giving the wrong answers or doing poorly on a test. Schools empathize test scores more and more. The funding of schools depends on the grades earned on performance tests. Poor test grades reflect on the teacher’s competence and that of the school. There is so much stress involved in testing and giving the right answers that there is no room for experimenting with answers or problem-solving skills.

Education has made a lot of progress, but there is room for more. The future of mankind depends on citizens using knowledge in creative ways. This should be the true reason for education: To equip children with the tools they need to solve problems and the knowledge they need to implement their solutions. As parents, we can teach a child new ways of thinking and doing things. The schools need to emphasize creativity and knowledge in equal parts.

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