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Author Topic: Do schools kill creativity - interesting  (Read 3677 times)
Pelao
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« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2010, 08:21:26 AM »
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My daughter has always exhibited a strong artistic edge, with raw creativity at the forefront. In her sketches, photography and writing she offers up some very original work.

She went to a good, solid traditional Elementary school here in Ontario until the end of Grade 5. While in that grade she asked us if she could apply to an arts school. After a long selection process she was offered a place. In the new school they have to follow the same curriculum and are subject to the same measurements. The traditional subjects are studied in ways that emphasize creative expression. In addition, 2 to 3 hours per day are spent in classes dedicated to specific arts: drama, music, visual arts, dance  and creative writing.  The arts teachers are all established professionals in their fields.

She was always a B to B+ student, with a few scattered A grades.

I would say that the teachers in her new school are more demanding than in her old school, and in comparison to what her sister experienced. In addition, the regime itself is pretty tough: the regular curriculum plus the added arts curriculum.

My wife and I are fascinated by the results. My wife is a professional educator, while I am Creative Director with a large firm. What we see is a kid who comes home exhausted but energized about life. her vocabulary, already strong, is very impressive. She has an incredibly open mind, and her problem solving skills are noticeably stronger. Her grades are all up too.

After a quarter century of managing large businesses and working with customers and clients from a variety of industries, I have come to appreciate the power of creativity. My daughter's experience has reinforced my view that the arts, and teaching children in ways that are familiar to those in the arts, would be a boon to educational on every level.

Artists do not hold a lock on creativity. So while my daughter is artistic and creative, I believe any could would benefit from a system that encouraged lateral thinking, group problem solving and creating something out of nothing - all common activities in my kid's school. Creative thinking and the learned openness to new and alternative ideas is useful in science, engineering, medicine and virtually any career or direction a person can choose.

The one exception would be politics. Creativity in that field might transform people from politicians into leaders and while a better world may result, much of our entertainment would be lost.  
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Justan
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« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2010, 02:04:38 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
...I think I'd attribute Western creativity more to the growth of individual liberty that started, albeit in a cramped way, with the Magna Carta...

Against a background of the dark ages and law by fiefdom, Magna Carta laid the ground work for what much later became common law or constitutional law. The key distinction here is the change that did not put the ruler above the law. At lest on paper. This was at a time when England was centuries into empire building with centuries to go.

I encourage all to check out the Morril Act of 1862 and later the Hatch act of 1867. These 2 acts served to establish and expand what were called Land Grant Colleges (later Universities) and served to greatly expand the numbers of and roles of the public higher education institutions in the US and lead the way for the rest of the western world.

Remember that through most of history before this time, education was only in the hands of the elite. The history of education was that most institutions of education were secret schools or highly restricted accessed only by few. This was a tradition of the past where only the chosen clerics (wealthy families) were given the opportunity to pursue a formal, albeit highly politicized education.

The primary goals of the Morril Act of 1862 were to expand education aimed at farming and engineering technology. These were vital to the growth of the USA. Over time, as the colleges drew more students and were better funded, a wide number of other studies or schools were added, cumulating in what we have today.

> Certainly Western liberal arts and sciences have contributed to the ability of creative people to capitalize on their creativity, but do you really think that education is what brings about (fosters) creativity?

The creative instinct is part of the human condition. Due to generations of people who had the opportunity to get an advanced education, the tools and skills that are served by the creative mind continues to advance. Consider for example your keyboard, computer, and everything that you can access due to that. How many millions of man hours have gone into that? How much of that would not exist were it not for the public university and armies of highly creative people? So as a generational role, absolutely the advance of liberal arts and science have laid the ground work for creative people to go much further and get there faster than would have been possible otherwise.

That said, what passes for most pre-college “education” in the public schools too often amounts to little more than formalized day care. Someone commented on this above. But bad as it is, were it not for the Morril Act, it would be much worse.

India got the idea about 2 decades ago and took it where the US ought to have. They mandate 16 years of education for all and require study of multiple languages for all.

I think the expression is: “If you know 3 languages you are trilingual. If you know 2 languages you are bilingual. If kind of know one language you are American.”


> In my own experience the most creative people I've known have sought education...Their creativity existed first.

For some this is true. but for all that are willing, education opens doors and creates opportunities.
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Justan
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« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2010, 02:12:43 PM »
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Quote from: Pelao
My daughter has always exhibited a strong artistic edge, with raw creativity at the forefront. In her sketches, photography and writing she offers up some very original work.

She went to a good, solid traditional Elementary school here in Ontario until the end of Grade 5. While in that grade she asked us if she could apply to an arts school. After a long selection process she was offered a place. In the new school they have to follow the same curriculum and are subject to the same measurements. The traditional subjects are studied in ways that emphasize creative expression. In addition, 2 to 3 hours per day are spent in classes dedicated to specific arts: drama, music, visual arts, dance  and creative writing.  The arts teachers are all established professionals in their fields.

She was always a B to B+ student, with a few scattered A grades.

I would say that the teachers in her new school are more demanding than in her old school, and in comparison to what her sister experienced. In addition, the regime itself is pretty tough: the regular curriculum plus the added arts curriculum.

My wife and I are fascinated by the results. My wife is a professional educator, while I am Creative Director with a large firm. What we see is a kid who comes home exhausted but energized about life. her vocabulary, already strong, is very impressive. She has an incredibly open mind, and her problem solving skills are noticeably stronger. Her grades are all up too.

After a quarter century of managing large businesses and working with customers and clients from a variety of industries, I have come to appreciate the power of creativity. My daughter's experience has reinforced my view that the arts, and teaching children in ways that are familiar to those in the arts, would be a boon to educational on every level.

Artists do not hold a lock on creativity. So while my daughter is artistic and creative, I believe any could would benefit from a system that encouraged lateral thinking, group problem solving and creating something out of nothing - all common activities in my kid's school. Creative thinking and the learned openness to new and alternative ideas is useful in science, engineering, medicine and virtually any career or direction a person can choose.

The one exception would be politics. Creativity in that field might transform people from politicians into leaders and while a better world may result, much of our entertainment would be lost.  

You imply an excellent point about the importance of parents in the education process. Your daughter is extremely fortunate to have caring and nurturing parents. I applaud your efforts!




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Pelao
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« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2010, 09:17:28 PM »
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You imply an excellent point about the importance of parents in the education process. Your daughter is extremely fortunate to have caring and nurturing parents. I applaud your efforts!

Very kind of you to say so. For me the main motivator is to offer her the opportunity to explore her natural abilities. An arts oriented elementary school was pretty much unheard of when I was a kid.

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Dansk
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« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2010, 09:45:31 AM »
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 I was doing some event work years ago for a law firm ( over 900 lawyers employed there very big outfit ) and the CEO and i were chatting about education and he sort of snarled and said they look at university degrees mainly as a tool to verify that an applicant who wishes to work for them was able to accomplish mundane, boring, and uninspiring tasks at a level of excellence and deliver them on time.

 Edison said genius is 1% idea and 99% effort.

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Rob C
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« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2010, 01:23:13 PM »
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Quote from: Dansk
I was doing some event work years ago for a law firm ( over 900 lawyers employed there very big outfit ) and the CEO and i were chatting about education and he sort of snarled and said they look at university degrees mainly as a tool to verify that an applicant who wishes to work for them was able to accomplish mundane, boring, and uninspiring tasks at a level of excellence and deliver them on time.

 Edison said genius is 1% idea and 99% effort.





I would assume he was speaking about the tea-boys, even, perhaps, of the night watchmen?

Interesting concept, lawyers without degrees; it'll never catch on... Christ, they'd end up just like photographers. Would only the medics buy Leicas then?

Rob C
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Dansk
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« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2010, 02:02:54 PM »
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 Haha tea boys indeed. I think he was referring to how much the formal education actually prepared them for the work involved which is mostly research and mundane. This same CEO also told me something else I wont forget. He said a good lawyer is one who can think of what the other side cannot, and then find legal proof to back it up.
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Justan
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« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2010, 01:50:02 PM »
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Quote from: Pelao
Very kind of you to say so. For me the main motivator is to offer her the opportunity to explore her natural abilities. An arts oriented elementary school was pretty much unheard of when I was a kid.


When i was a kid back in the '60s, schools like that were called "private schools."

I have 2 cousins that are very successful in the arts industry. Both had highly nurturing parents. It’s a wonderful tribute to parents who encourage their children in a positive way.

Many parents encourage their children in far less ideal ways, and I’ll apologize to the more sensitive right up front for the following.

I heard an account recently from Bill Cosby that serves the point. He said that until he was about 5 he thought his name was Dammit and that his brother’s name was Jesus Christ. He said that every time his dad talked with his brother his dad would say: “Jesus Christ what were you thinking?” Or “Jesus Christ, why in the world did you do that!?!”

Cosby went on to say that his dad would say to him: “Dammit, where did your brother get off to?” Or “Dammit, why did you leave your brother alone! You know that he gets into trouble every time that happens!”

Then one day, Cosby went on to say that his dad walked out to the porch, saw Cosby and said: “Jesus Christ, do you know where your brother is?” In reply Cosby said, “Dad, don’t you know your own son? I'm “Dammit,” Jesus Christ is at the playground…”

Cosby added that his identity issues started on that day. I bet a lot of us had similar backgrounds.

So it’s great when someone has positive nurturing parents rather than ones who nurture with the back of their hand.

In the abstract, I'm not sure which ones make more creative kids, but it’s not a reach to figure out which produce less conflicted kids.
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