School Kills Creativity

Matthew Gearhart, Opinions Editor

The definition of creativity is original ideas that have value. The public education system, and aspects within it not only don’t produce creative minds, but the structure of school itself is built in a way that “kills” the development of creative ideas and minds. Creativity is best seen as a practice. Or perhaps a perspective, a way of looking, thinking, living, seeing and being. And so there are methods of stretching one’s creative capacity. Questioning ideas, creating new things, or trying to solve an unmapped problem. All three of these are lacking in modern day public education.This is not at the fault of any teacher or public school, but is a larger problem within the seams of public education across the U.S. 

 

There are 3 distinct facts known about intelligence. One of being, is that intelligence is dynamic. This means that original, and often critical thoughts come from connections from the left side of the brain with the right side of the brain. The right side uses abstract meaning, intuition, emotion, imagination etcetera. The left uses analysis, speaking, reading, writing, logic, number skills etcetera. A truly well-rounded brain would have a plethora of connections from both sides of the brain. The problem with public education is it mainly exercises the left. Think about it. The classes you are required to take, like your LA class, focuses on reading and writing, your math class focuses on number and calculating skills, social studies focuses on analysing, reading, writing and logic. Science on calculating, logic, etcetera. When is the last time your class discussed abstract meaning, and emotion, and let you express full creativity and free choice on a project or paper. There are occasions but the overwhelming focus on the the physical world, far succeeds any attention on the relative and abstract world. Which is surprising considering both of these environments of thought are arguably equally as importanion. While another may be wicked at visualizing and understanding the dimensions of a geometric shape. Or one may be exemplary at logically structuring an argument, versus another who can dissect the in depth meaning and implications of such an argument. The issue of public education is it’s t. 

The second distinct fact known about intelligence is that intelligence is diverse. Meaning that humans all have infinitely different ways of thinking. The way one person may look at a problem could be entirely backwards, or the opposite of how someone else might see it. One person could be really good at calculating an algebraic equation tailored towards individual minds, at all. Meaning that the structure of school organized in a way to conform students into one intellectual body. 

An amazing example of this is the use of standardized tests. Standardized tests are an essential to the U.S. education system. They’re based on the idea of giving the same questions to everyone, to see who can get the highest score on it. And those who get higher scores are considered more proficient students. There are a sum of problems with this way of thinking. First of all, it makes the way in which we measure how educated someone is, a game. Students end up practicing for the best ways to answer questions on tests like the ACT or SAT. Instead of trying to learn more in school. Another problem with standardized tests is it does not accept alternative answers. Meaning any creative or different way of answering a written question on a test are counted wrong and labeled as not following the proper format of questions. 

The impact of creativity being cut short in the foundation of our education may seem invisible. Though, the long term consequences are monumental. Imagine millions of faces anxious to want to write out their own theories, create their own songs, invent new ideas and things but are tied down by schools to go to college, pass these tests, in order to get a ‘real’ job. Think of the Steve Job’s, the Albert Einstein’s, the John Lennon’s who failed in school.  And who revolutionized the world. If they chose not pursue they’re burning questions or passions, what then?