Are Public Schools Detrimental to Creativity?
One of the most compelling reasons we all are stifled in our creative pursuits is due to public education and standardized testing. By the time we enter the first grade, we are told to sit down, shut up and regurgitate this and that.
As time moves on, we becomes victims to the standardized test. This means that we must spend copious hours working on and memorizing what is needed to pass a test the state requires to determine the amount of funding a school system will received the following year. Teachers contracts are also dependent upon the scores of their students and so they work to cram the seemingly "important" information into the heads of their pupils for several months of the year.
What this does is create a focus on what is important in learning by putting the focus on grades and scores, rather than thinking and analysis of information. I have heard more than once from students at the college level that they had never been asked their opinion about things, only thought the teachers opinion was right, and they needed to assimilate that and regurgitate it back on tests.
So where does our creative mind go and how are we being impacted by not being allowed to think for ourselves, formulate our own opinions and be a true individual? there are some teachers out there that do allow for this type of inspiration on the part of their students, but they are few and far between. From what I have seen the product of education over 12 years is curriculum centered and allows for very little wiggle room.
This has seriously impacted the state of the American psyche as evidenced by the tremendous lack of thinking on the part of the American public. Being spoon fed the answers for things, or simply ignoring the values of a liberal arts education has yielded a dumbing down of the American mind. We can see this weekly by the types of television programming we are fed, reality based television shows and simply obnoxious movies aimed at teenage dollars and inane styles.
If we continue to stifle our children by offering them the kind of trash we do, we know that GIGO will continue. (Garbage in, Garbage out). Children are now facing the demise of cursive writing, due to computers being the mainstay of our times. What happens if the world collapses or things change dramatically? How will these children cope?
The beauty of a creative mind begins its demise when we tell a child their stories, pictures, songs and imaginations need to be better, or put in check for more serious matters. Public Schools need to oust the standardized tests in favor of students being able to learn more about their own interests and how to research information so that they can be the critical thinkers we need for tomorrow.