We all know what Creativity is and we’ve always been told to be ‘creative’ at work and we encourage our children in school to be ‘creative’ and this is absolutely fantastic!
BUT unfortunately, whilst we say we are promoting creativity, at times, the actions we take speak the exact opposite, especially in the structured education system where teachers are already faced with multitudes of challenges ranging from class discipline to completing the curriculum on time. Teachers are simply faced with no room to allow students to explore their creativity in traditionally structured subjects like mathematics.
This then dominoes into their daily routine in life in school where the only pathway to good academic results is to remain rigid conforming to what teachers seek for strictly. Exploration of methods and styles or achieving a different outcome would outrightly be wrong and students would be called names which discourages them from being creative as they learn to be fearful of the consequences of being creative.
Why am I bringing up this subject?
Simply because I’m imploring educators to allow students to have free expression of their creativity. Results may deviate from the intended outcome but surely there’s a way to guide the student to achieving the answer instead of debilitating their creativity by instilling a sense of fear; a fear of failure.
As an educator in the creative industry, I’m faced with the challenge of encouraging students to be creative. I find it discerning that students at a very young age have had their creative minds impeded and I saw a stark contrast to this when I visited a friend’s home.
What I noticed in my friend’s home was a pair of twins aged 2.5 years old being very creative in every sense of the word. They would have been my favourite students in my drama class with how they turned a ball into a vegetable and a fruit and a ruler as well as a comb into a knife. There was no need to tell them to imagine. All that was needed was to give a suggestion to them that ‘you could use the comb’ and next thing you see the comb was turned into the same knife that the ruler had been used for.
Similarly, a toy which was used as a magic wand was overturned and turned into a ‘hair dryer’!
I was amazed and impressed at how creative our minds were at a young age and wondered if it was the education system that we were put through that had impeded our creative minds and had made us lose sight of what was once a play den in our minds.
I remember as a child, I’d play with my toys and I’d talk to my toys and items in my house to be anything I wanted them to be. I still do it today when I play with my toy figurines that sit proudly on a shelf in my room.
I think all of us need to start playing with our toys once again to keep our minds creative in exploring the impossible seem possible and I really hope that teachers would be able to recognise how creative their students can be when they submit assignments. Compositions may seem a tad weird at times but if you read it from their perspective, it may just make sense to them in their own creative world just that perhaps, the language and grammar used is not up to par but that can be worked on. Even mathematical solutions can show you just how creative your students are when they divide a hexagon into 6 portions by drawing lines in it instead of giving you the mathematical solution that you were hoping for.