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Hibah Ameer

Design Student, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture

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Does formal education as a child hinder a child's creativity?

I am writing on a paper on Education Systems restricting child creativity. On one hand formal education has it s benefits as it trains the human eye to notice things, place things in order. But on the other hand it sets certain limitations to a child's imaginative mind and forces him/her to produce stereotypical imagery of what they call 'art'
What are your opinions?

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  • Sep 21 2012: I had an interesting school experience, so I hope my opinion may be of some value but keep in mind my views began developing as a 7th grader and are still changing almost daily.

    When beginning 7th grade, I was placed in a math class that was way too easy for me which I fiercely fought with our school administration on to no avail. Fortunately for me, I had heard a teacher say that homework was only there to make the tests easier, and since the problem with my class was that it was too easy, I tried to make it harder by not doing homework (some self-serving logic, I know ;) ). This wasn't an issue in middle school as I knew only my parents would see the grades, and I argued that as long as I got A's on tests I could continue not doing my homework.

    After a few days absent, I took a test and realized I knew none of the material whatsoever, yet was determined to figure out the answers so I could keep on with my free afternoons. So I tried things over and over again until I found answers that seemed reasonable and they turned out to be right. I kept on with this method and through determination to solve these problems, I found that I improved my test scores (physics & economics too) as I was no longer relying on memory, but rather continuously working to find a solution any way I could.

    My theory on it is that by giving a student the answers and testing their retention, we test their abilities to retain knowledge (a skill of diminishing value where google is always a few keystrokes away), without ever encouraging our students to search for answers, which I find to be much more reliable than memorization, and very much applicable when its important to understand the big picture of things.

    So my answer wouldn't be that its formal education that hurts our students, but the fact that we give them the answers or methods and then test retention purely. By getting our students to search, and assuring them that the questions are solvable, I think we can go a long way.

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