Do schools kill creativity?
I am a firm believer that education systems doesn't focus enough on the arts. Just like sir Ken Robinson I do believe that we undermine the creative ability of children. We also make children focus on things they are not very good at to make them better at this, in the hopes that they will excel at it. When I was in high school I took two years of art classes, but that was it. After that I wasn't encouraged by the school to take more art classes, because it didn't fit in with the science profile that I chosen for school. When I went to the United States I did decide to take more art classes, because there I had nothing to loose. I already had my high school diploma and I decided to have some fun with the art classes. Not only did I take drawing and painting classes, I also took part in the technical theatre classes. Here I was responsible for the costumes of two productions that my school performed. In the United States I found out about one of my passions and great hobbies. This hobby is art, and the passion that goes along with it is creative thinking. Because of the art classes I found out that I was good at creative thinking and solving the problems that happened along the way. I might have never discovered this if I hadn't decided to think outside of the box in terms of my classes. I feel like schools and teachers should encourage their students more in terms of the arts. I feel like a lot of the times students are only exposed to art classes when they are mandatory, this greatly discourages students. When there is more of a focus on different topics, there will be more students to be willing to give it a try. This is how I came in contact with art, and how I came to love it. When something is shoved down your throat you automatically create an aversion towards it. And I think that we need to let kids express their creativity. As the great Pablo Picasso once said: "Every child is an artist. The problem is to remain an artist when we grow up.” We should make kids believe in their creative capacities and encourage them. This doesn’t just make them better at drawing, painting, or music. This makes them better at problem solving. Often the arts are seen as something that isn’t valuable to our life later on. People believe that you can’t make a living of you focus on the arts. I am told every day that art doesn’t put bread on the table. But the fact of the matter is that art isn’t just about producing a piece of art, or playing a musical instrument. But art is so much more than that. Art makes you able to think in different ways. To solve problems that even the best mathematicians can’t solve. It provides a creative outlet for people, makes you think about something else for a change. Not just about numbers and letters, but just shapes and things that you want to think about. You can truly express yourself with the arts. You can be whoever you want to be. Just you.
Sterre de Weerd