Challenging creativity.

“So I want to speak about creativity, but I would also like to talk about the education process. My contention is that the creative growth within a person should be treated just as important as any other subject such as languages and mathematics.”


Can creativity be taught?

Creativity, I believe, is something we are all born with. It is simply a matter of harnessing what is already there.

Children will take a chance. When they are uncertain, theyll try, theyll give it a go. Am I right? They are not scared of being wrong. I am not saying creativity and being wrong is the same thing, but what is certain is that if you are not prepared to be wrong, you can never come up with something that is new. As they get older, children would have lost this fundamental capacity. We have now become frightened of being wrong. We stigmatise mistakes, and now, what we have is an educational system where mistakes are the worst thing you can make. And the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities, destroying the fundamental process of experimentation.

It does not come as a surprise that recent studies have found that the creativity level within children is in fact declining. We are suppressing the very fundamental notion of freedom through constant evaluation and pressure in an irrational way. In the real world, few problems actually have one right solution, few questions have that one right answer. But we continue subjecting the youth to an educational system that assumes there is only one possible solution to every question and problem, and punishes students (and teachers)  for trying different routes or trying to find alternative solutions.

Picasso once said this, he said that all children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up. I believe this passionately, that we don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, our education steers us away from its path. So why is this?

Having spent the earlier part of my life as a child exposed to this system, I experienced the whole thing.  Children prosper best with a wide curriculum that acknowledges their various capabilities, not just a small range of them. Creativity and art isnt just important in children because it helps improve their mathematics but because they speak to parts of childrens being which are otherwise untouched. My creativity was ??

Human life is driven by the curiosity that flourishes it. If you can light the spark of curiosity in a child, it will develop naturally. Their creativity will flourish without needing any help or intervention. Children are natural learners.

Curiosity is the engine of achievement. Now the reason I say this is because one of the effects of the current culture here, if I can say so, has been to de-professionalize teachers. There is no system in the world or any school in the country that is better than its teachers. Teachers are the lifeblood of the success of schools. Even teaching in itself is a creative profession. If done properly teaching should become more than a simple delivery system. You know, youre not just there to pass on the received information. Great teachers should be able to not just do that but must also be able to stimulate and provoke. Ultimately education should be about learning. If there is no growth process going on, it should not be considered as successful education. People often speak tirelessly about education, but they always forget the idea of learning.-

Teaching should not obstruct creative freedom but unfortunately it often does. So in place of curiosity, what we have is a culture of compliance. The education system is structured to follow a routine system of parameters rather than to stimulate imagination and creativity.

Human life is inherently creative. That is why we have different lives, different networks, different experiences. It's why human culture is so interesting and diverse and dynamic.

There's a wonderful quote from Benjamin Franklin. "There are three sorts of people in the world: Those who are immovable, people who don't get it, or don't want to do anything about it; there are people who are movable, people who see the need for change and are prepared to listen to it; and there are people who move, people who make things happen.

This educational system, I believe, is what in the end destroys the publics acknowledgment of the creative process of certain professions. Stand alone programs have begun tackling this program, by actually bringing the thought process to the forefront. It is only then that we can truly inspire and in a way nourish the creative spirit in each other. So why restrict it?

The topic will be discussed further within the coming weeks in a discussion based lecture forum addressing the issues of creativity in our modern society organised by SACES (Society of Architecture and Civil Engineering Students) and HoASA (History of Arts Students Association).  The discussion will be directed towards tackling the social stigma to those within the creative professions and addressing this problem from the ground up.