Schools are stifling students’ creativity

This news item appeared recently in the Globe & Mail. It refers to a quote made by the well-known education guru, Sir Ken Robinson in his interview with G&M on a visit to Canada.

I found two readers’ comments especially intriguing:

“Here is another neo-marxist recipe for us. Dance instead of math . . .”

When Sir Ken Robinson said, “[There are] a number of schools where kids who were taking dance programs improved in all their other work, including in mathematics.Their math scores went up,” the remark referred to the fact that when kids are physically active, it improves mental function. The flow of blood rises to the brain and more oxygen gets pumped.

The other comment that struck me:“You don’t get hired for your “creativity” and “imagination” if you don’t have the basic knowledge and no skills eg. doctor, dentist, engineer . . . “creativity” and “imagination” highly overrated in these jobs.

What’s happening here is that when most of us think about creativity, we just think about painting a picture, writing a poem or composing a song.Creativity is much more than that.

Doctors, dentists and engineers who can use the logical left side as well as the creative right side of their brains are much more valuable to society because they are not only more competent but have problem-solving ability and a bigger dose of foresight.

“Creativity is one of the most important economic resources of the twenty-first century,” argues Gary Gute, associate professor of family studies at the University of Northern Iowa, and director of the Creative Life Research Center there. “The call from business, industry, and education is for people to think more creatively, not only to solve problems but also to identify problems that need to be solved.

Sir Ken Robinson says to raise the standards, math should be taught in a way that motivates and engages students.Children are more motivated when they find a subject interesting and fun.

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