Sunday, November 22, 2009

Are we nurturing or killing creativity!

We have a very interesting education system. Our education system gives the memory unit of our brain a lot of exercise. Can anyone guess how does our education system gives a workout to brain? Yes, you all have guessed it right; it’s the retention and recall. Our education system has taught us how to memorize and how to reproduce what is learnt.

Picasso once said, “All the children are born artist; the problem is how to save and nurture the unique artist.” i.e. All the children are born with a unique talent. It is us the teachers who have the responsibility to nurture the artist within each child. But, do you all think that our education system allows us to do so? Do you think that only improving the memory power and testing the memory through various examinations we are nurturing the artist?

Our education system evolved in an era when industrialization was at its peak. To meet the demands of industries, education was designed to impart the knowledge to produce efficient workers. The only area we emphasize on is academics. Don’t do music, don’t do arts’, don’t dance, is all this going to get you a job? Do science, do math, study language that is what will fetch you job. Crash! Amidst all the jostling ofdemand, supply and producing human terminators, education system missed out on certain very critical and crucial point that is to develop the creativity in the child which will help him survive in the future. We have restricted or streamlined the learning curve to meet the current demands thereby strangling the creativity of the child. The kids are not afraid of exploring; they are not afraid of trying new things and experimenting. It is our education system in which mistake is the worst thing a child could do. As a consequence we are suffocating their creativity. We are not saying that being wrong is being creative, no. But what we do know is, “if we are not prepared to be wrong we will not come up with anything original” says Sir Ken Robensen world renowned coach in the field of creativity.

Despite of all the expertise, research and projections we do not know how the world will look like 20-25 years from now. In contrast we do not know how the child would adapt and flourish in this extremely unpredictable environment. So instead of being a Hitler, we should expand our boundaries for the children’s growth. The child should be given his own space to explore, adapt and flourish through learning and experiencing variety of things.

Our only hope for the future is to adopt a new course one in which we start to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity. We have to re-think the fundamental principles on which we are educating our children. Our education system should be aimed at holistic development of a child. Both the scholastic and co-scholastic curriculum should be designed and given equal importance i.e. along with mathematics, science and languages- sports, art, music, drama and dance should be given equal importance to instigate the creative artist within each child. It is important to expose the child to do the right things at the right time to develop his creativity. Lastly creativity is not an inherent skill or only for those with a talent for it; it could be successfully taught to and used by people of any age, walk of life or cultural background.

Dr de Bono said creative thinking needs to be included in curricula as a distinct but parallel subject. "Mankind had tended to associate the term 'creativity' solely with its expression in the arts," he said. "However, creativity was also about recognizing and creating value."

So, my fellow inspirers, it’s up to us, whether we want to foster the creative talents of our children or to manufacture high speed data access human machines.

What will you do? The choice is of course, yours!

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