Malek Allari | Editor-In-Chief
If there was one common enemy for all children worldwide, it is schools and their tests. These tests are killing the creativity and the intelligence of youngsters. We go to the exam with one goal in our mind, passing the test. We go to school bored of our minds, wondering and counting the minutes of the day until the last bell. I was looking out the window, wishing I was a cloud passing by to not have to be in school. All our burdens and worries rise inside us, hoping for the day we become adults so that we stop going to school. I always thought that I only had to study and get old enough to stop going to school, missing the creative and fun years of childhood and teen years.
I believe and stand by the fact that schools are killing our creativity. They limit our minds into taking various subjects that we are not interested in and then let us off with a lousy grade. After that, we start to believe that we are good-for-nothing kids and that we fail at everything. However, we forgot the sole reason why schools existed in the first place. The school existed as a way to bring all apprentices and their masters together. Someone who wants to be a blacksmith goes and studies with a blacksmith in a classroom full of blacksmith apprentices. All that happened until one guy, just one, decided to mess up the education system and force people who are good at language to study math, and people who are good with nature to study language, and those who are good at math to study nature. He put all students together, made a salad with them, and gave them useless things that would not benefit their profession. By doing so, creativity in the education system had started its downfall.
To bring creativity back into the classroom, we need to look at each students’ interests, whether they were as young as elementary or as old as college students. Creativity has no age limit or requirement for it, and so, it is available to everyone. By looking at the interests, we can determine what the students need to learn and how it should be delivered. Even though parents will say that they are young to decide for themselves, children are curious creatures by nature. They might change their interests over time, but that is what it means to grow up. They might also change all the way back to what they started off with. For example, my little sister first showed interest in writing and reading after observing me. Then, she changed her interests into technology and using computers. Right now, she changed back to reading and writing. She sends me these little short stories that are a half-page long, and I can say that I am impressed. In a couple of years, I am afraid this creativity will fade if not nourished and taken care of.
Nourishing creativity is not easy, especially in the classroom where creativity was in the dark for far too long. Do we need to use Convergent thinking or Divergent thinking? In my case, I would say Divergent thinking. As a writer and a reader, I need to let my imagination run wild to find unusual answers to unusual questions. As a scientist, my friend used his imagination to develop a lethal disease(although he kept it inside his mind). As a mathematician, a fellow student used his imagination to solve a complicated problem. Divergent thinking is a way to use imagination(in a good way) to try and solve the mysteries of the universe. However, using Divergent thinking will also lead to Convergent thinking. People can not prove something without having a fact. Imagining things did not let us reach our heights as humans in this world without using Convergent thinking. That is why Lateral thinking kicked in. It is using logic to defy the laws of nature and bring our imaginations to reality.
Sometimes reality can be harsh, and we as humans can not defy certain laws. That is why art was born. It was to bring what was on a human’s mind to life on a piece of paper. Someone who fell really deep in love can use a couple of brushes, three primary colors, and a piece of paper to express how his heart reacts to his beloved. Or a writer could use his imagination and put it visually instead of words. Every writer has a deep, dark side that no one knows about. And using art, a writer can draw the darkest monster that devours happiness and love. A monster that needs to be slain by a blonde prince on a donkey(since he lost his horse in the journey).
Sometimes, I use art to draw out my characters instead of just writing them down. Then, I discovered that drawing is not really my thing because I am only good with words. It hurts, but not really. As I am sitting now, writing this paper, a car is vrooming outside. That sounds help me escape reality and go into a world of imagination where I am in a car race against my dad. Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes they are initiated in the weirdest way possible. There is no definite way to foster creativity in the classroom because each person’s creativity is fostered differently.
I believe that to foster creativity in the classroom is to stop treating everybody at the same educational and mental level. To foster creativity, it is easier to set a goal for the students and have them work separately and creativity until they reach that goal. When I read an article on fostering creativity in the classroom, it already wrote what teachers do. Teachers do say “imagine,” “create,” or “suppose,” but do the students really listen? Over time, a word’s meaning could change drastically. These phrases have changed as we progressed through our grades, having the desire to pass the exam and then forget all about it.