“Throughout the world, companies, and organizations are trying to compete in a world of economic and technological change that is moving faster than ever. As the axis shifts towards intellectual labor and services, they urgently need people who are creative, innovative and flexible. Too often they can’t find them.” – Excerpt from the book “Out of our Minds: Learning to be Creative” by Ken Robinson
In a 2010 study of about 300,000 creativity tests going back to the 1970s, Kyung Hee Kim, a creativity researcher at the College of William and Mary, found creativity has decreased among American children in recent years.
According to Kim, since 1990 children have become less able to produce unique and unusual ideas. They are less imaginative and less able to elaborate on ideas.
Experts say creativity is innate, so it can’t really be lost. But it needs to be nurtured.
Do Schools Kill Creativity?
In his TED Talk “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” Sir Ken Robinson said that instead of growing into creativity in school, we grow out of it. Students all over the world have had more years of schooling than they care to count. During this process, students are taught that making a mistake is a sign. We have planted in our students’ minds a picture of a perfectly, carefully drawn life.
It is understood that memorizing is the fastest way to get good marks, get into a good college, and eventually get a good job. We are being educated for the promise of money.
The truth is nobody wants to be a product living inside a box. We love to cherish our brilliant mind, imagine, create, challenge and define the impossible.
Schools have become businesses and factories where children come out as pale as ghosts with everything being structured “perfectly” and “properly” in their minds.
Students all over the world have lost their capacity of creation simply because our teaching methods don’t stimulate innovation and creativity.
In school, I was bullied, made fun of and criticized by this teacher who always told me to stop dreaming and to live in reality. In school, I learned never to question the world, to go with the flow and that there is only one right answer to each question.
In school we are taught to draw perfect shapes and whenever a child attempts to color or draw something else the teacher gets perturbed.
The idea that there is only one right answer to a question, may be hampering the development of creativity among kids. Beghetto said. “There’s not much room for unexpected, novel, divergent thought,” he said.
Teachers don’t spend a lot of time exploring unexpected ideas because they might not be sure where it will lead, Beghetto said. As a result, “out-of-the-box” thinking gets discouraged.
I have seen the impact of this in our real world. After working with large organizations with strength exceeding 300 to 400, they still find it a struggle to find creative abilities in their employees and eventually hire creative agencies to do all sorts of design work.
I have also noticed that most of these guys who work in creative agencies doing the actual designing work are not the so called qualified ones. They are mostly college dropouts or regular degree holders who like wearing jeans and don’t really wear ties and usually come in late because they’ve been working with an idea till late night.
Home schooling gives us the flexibility to explore new ways & ideas to nurture creativity in our children. It allows us to teach our boys that mistakes are acceptable and failures are bound to happen provided we learn from them and explore new and creative ways of doing things.
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