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Essay: Creativity dies – is education killing creativity?

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  • Subject area(s): Education essays
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  • Published: 1 October 2015*
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  • Words: 563 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 3 (approx)

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Dr. Leonard Sommer, psychologist, did a research with shocking results. He asked more than hundred creatives and futurists of 35 countries if they think their country’s education system is future ready. At least 67,2% said they did not consider their education system future ready. The majority of the respondents, 84,8%, state that creativity plays a minor role or is suppressed in schools. The next generation will live in a more innovative world, which will bring other skills. My opinion is that the current education system is badly prepared to educate the next generation of creative leaders.
First of all schools do not use creativity in tests. Most of the time tests in schools measure intelligence. Creativity is a form of intelligence, but it is barely tested. Teachers think that the person with the highest grades is the smartest. This is not always true. Schools don’t always accept children who are different. There have been enough examples throughout the years where creative and smart people could not score well on the tests which school provided. Robert J. Sternberg, who formulated the triarchic theory of intelligence and is a prominent figure in the research of human intelligence, agrees with this argument. ‘They were called ‘daydreamers’, ‘underachievers’ or ‘troublemakers’ during childhood only to become highly creative geniuses in later life, such as the politician Winston Churchill, the actress Sara Bernhardt, the scientist Albert Einstein, the inventor Alexander Graham Bell, and the dancer Isadora Duncan.'(Sternberg, 1997)
Furthermore the schools choose the subjects which are the most important. The most important subjects are languages and mathematics, followed by subjects like chemistry, physics and economics, and as last arts. Ken Robinson is an English author and international advisor on education in the arts. He agrees that schools kill the ability to think in creative ways, thanks to the hierarchy of the subjects. ‘There isn’t an education system on the planet that teaches dance every day to children the way we teach them mathematics,’ Robinson says. ‘Truthfully, what happens is, as children grow up, we start to educate them progressively from the waist up.’
Thereby classes are stiffly timed. The schedules at school are strict. As Ken Robinson says: ‘If you live in a world where every lesson is 40 minutes, you immediately interrupt the flow of creativity.’ There is no space for a student to change something in the schedule. The content of the lessons and when the lessons are given is preprogrammed. This is a bad thing for the learning process. More space for flexibility and creativity in the lessons have positive effects on the learning process. A study from Bill Lucas, Guy Claxton and Ellen Spencer from the University of Winchester brings up several researches which show the positive influence of creativity in the learning process. Students are more motivated to learn and their results on subjects like mathematics are better.
In short the current education system is badly prepared to educate the next generation of creative leaders. First of all schools do not use creativity in tests. Eventhough there have been enough examples throughout the years where creative and smart people could not score well on the tests which school provided. Secondly the schools choose the subjects which are the most important and this never happens to be art. And lastly classes are stiffly timed which is not good for the learning process of a student.

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