Senior Laments Creativity Crisis in Schools
Travel Offers Creative Opportunities
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of The Prowler.
I find myself restricted in creativity by the test-oriented nature of our nation’s education system. In the remaining weeks of my final year of high school, I feel my formal education has not prepared me to think, act or write creatively. Most of my classes have been monotonously structured within the parameters of that specific subject’s material, which includes memorizing information and responding to selected prompts.
I have learned to be creative from outside sources, mainly through new, stimulating experiences out in the world and through my own creative writing. Through travelling to different parts of the world such as Israel, Europe, and within the United States, I have gained a significant foundation of knowledge and creativity from hands-on experience and exploration.
My choice to step outside of my comfort zone and experience life in new places reveals that I have had to take initiative in preparing myself to think outside of the box. This creativity deprivation in education is not a product of students’ internal disability. The United States’ education system has advanced the crisis through its generally structured, formative efforts that often hinder an individual’s creativity.
If creativity can be taught by individuals, specifically artists, writers, and musicians who have mastered it, and then received by students, does it register as creativity?
It is inherent in the meaning of creativity for a person to think uniquely and for some of his or her ideas to be abstract and original. Even though creativity is complicated and difficult to capture, there are ways in which our education system can cultivate creativity indirectly by allowing students the freedom to explore, innovate, and make independent choices.
Additionally, there are various levels pertaining to the concept of creativity. These levels have a uniting factor: the ability to think independently of societal norms and expose society to innovative ideas.
The purpose of creativity is to formulate new ideas, so those who teach may be creative, but students are often not in a position where they can foster creativity individually. If people only follow the examples of those who come before them, including their mentors, our society will not continue to experience necessary progress and change.
This leads our society into another trap: the belief by many people that creativity can be taught effectively to students.
It seems that people can show students how to create a sculpture, write a song, or invent a solar energy panel; however, these students are not developing innovative ideas on their own. In a classroom setting, students witness the creative process and are exposed to inventions without cultivating their own innate creativity.
Consequently, it does not seem possible for creative individuals to bestow creativity upon their audience. On the other hand, these individuals can help others understand what it takes to be innovative and lead others into an individualized, quality-based environment where they can try it on their own.
Because our society is attempting to quantify creativity and teach it, we are actually preventing students from learning creativity on their own in a pressure-free environment. It is our responsibility to let the creative process occur naturally, and encourage creativity instead of forcing it on students, to refrain from negatively influencing future generations of students.
Ultimately, creativity is shown, taught to an audience, and explained in detail; however, to truly comprehend how to achieve creativity and remain involved in the creative process, each person must experience it individually.
Now that we recognize the extent of the problem and understand that the creativity crisis impacts us, we will likely feel impassioned to incite positive change.