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EDUCATION, KILLER OF CREATIVITY


When I was growing, I had a classmate who had an incredible sense of rhythm. He would use his hands ,pencils,sticks to drum out the most amazing beats.

He was not very goood at class work. He did not perform well in the final examinations and I do not know what became of him.

However ,20 plus years later, I remember his beats and I know he would have made a great drummer.

Creativitty is the ability to view something in a new way,to see and solve problems others may not know exist and engage in physical and mental experiences that are now different and unique.

Research has found environment to be more important than heredity in influencing creativity. A child’s creativity could either be nurtured or discouraged by early experiences at home or school.

The standard intelligence tests always measure convergent thinking which is always the ability to come up with a single correct answer.

Current education systems mmainly prescribes convergent thinking.Creative individuals tend to exhibit certain characteristics,including a tendency to be morespontaneous or impulsive than others. Most creative individuals are never afraid of experimenting new things.

They are not worried about being wrong. If one is not prepared to be wrong,then they will never come up with anything original.

Children who stun their teachers with unusual responses to questions,who display an acute sense of humuour, who perphaps are unpredictable and nonconforming are thinking creatively.

Because creative thought often tends to go against the set of rules of a classroom,teachers may be irritated by te behaviour of a creative child.

Adults frequently do not recognise the value these creative children bring to society. Eventually,given a chance these children become the adults who make a difference in the world with their creative approach to challenges.

Our society has a huge interest vested in education,partly because education is meant to take course into the future.

The childrn starting school this year will be joining employees around 2035. None of us has a clue what the world would like in 20 years and yet we are meant to be educating our children for it.

My contention is that creativity is as important as to education as literacy,and we should treat it with the same weight. We are now ruining an educaton system where mistakes are the worst thing you can make and the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities.

Picasso once said that every child is born an artist. The dilemma is to remain an artist as we grow up. We do not grow into creativity, we grow out of it;or rather we get educated out of it. Our education system is skewed toward academic ability. The system of education around the world is a protracted process of universtity entrance and the consequence is that many brilliant highly-talented and creative people think they are not,because the things they were good at in school were not valued and in some cases,actually stigmatised.

Now unfortunately degrees are not worth much. When I was a pupil,if you had a degree ,you had a job. Nowadays,young people with degreees are jobless,because you need an MBA where previously the job required a bachelors degree, a PhD for a formerly masters position. This is a case of academic inflation.

The only way we will do it is by seeing our creative capacities for the wealth they are,and seeing our children for the hope that they present.

Our task should be to educate their whole being,so they can face the uncertain future .Incidentally we may not see this future,but they will. Our job is to allow them to exploit all their faculties.

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Author:

STUDENT, BACHELOR OF SCIENCE{ NURSING}, THE UNIVESITY OF NAIROBI

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