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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    Oct 2 2012: Let's start viewing creativity as more than just "art". One of the challenges of typical early formal education now is that creativity is often connected to a visual system, rather than the broader role of problem solving. What we should be teaching is developmental thinking and co-creation - ways that children can learn to build on each others ideas. Collaboration is a form of creativity - one that is interdependent.
  • Sep 26 2012: In my opinion formal education provides a much needed structure to children and a platform for social interaction with others their age.

    It is the parents job to provide a creative outlet at home for the child instead of letting him/her sit for hours in front of a television/game console/ I pad or on the internet. Reading books has all but ceased to exist which is one of the best forms of nurturing the the imagination.

    If anything the stereotypical imagery reflects the lack of stimulus provided in the daily life of a child not just at school.

    Every piece of art has the artists experiences and soul reflected in it thus the art will be colored by imagination the lack of which is eminent when lives are limited to what is easily available on the internet or on the Television.
    • Sep 29 2012: I do agree that education provides structure to a child but not in the form of social interaction. Yes there should be a creative outlet at home, but If any creative outlet is to be instilled in a child sufficiently and effectively, it should be a collective task from all aspects of a childs life, home and school.

      If a child is drummed with authoritative rule and conformed behaviour 35+ hours per week, then you have the parent trying to invoke the childs personal expression and creativity, the relationship between school and home is immediately conflicting.

      Balance and communication is key is it not?
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    Sep 22 2012: One can only hinder creativity by giving excuses for not being creative.
    Creative minds and creativity has blossomed in extremely unfavourable circumstances and conditions. Creatives have gone to school and have produced great works of art; creatives without formal education have equally wowed us with their excellence.

    Human imagination is not something that can be caged or bounded by education, laws, imprisonment or whatever.
  • Oct 13 2012: Teachers who exercise the "freedom of creativity" are the most influential and remembered by students. When you teach or train, you are in a constant need of finding creative methods to reach the mind of your students, as long no rules or laws are broken.
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    Oct 5 2012: most of the time we are locked in school .we can do not thing but learn so we can not really not how the things happen .many of us just have the theory but can not do it personnally ,i think it is two different concepts.

    several days ago i have read a piece a news that the students of Cuba ,they just learn half day and pratcise half day .i

    think it is a good idea.then we can use what we learn and also can do something labor ,then we have a real learn and
    have a much longer memory about it .
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    Oct 4 2012: I think it most definitely is. In my opinion the standardized test is one of the worst things in the school system. I think they teach you nothing. The school system is all about heres how you do it, study it, learn it, regurgitate it. Just recently graduating from college i saw it all the time. Students cramming try to "learn" the information than forgetting half of it a week later. You've got kids focusing on the grade more than the actual information on the test. You give the kids a test with right and wrong answers, your teaching them there is a right way and a wrong way.

    We should fostering creativity, not just the arts, but problem solving and such. Try to show them there can be ways to do the same thing in different ways. You've got the education system producing these carbon copy kids with the same mind set, thinking about the wrong and right, and only a handful thinking out of the box daring to do it differently.
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      Oct 5 2012: I am always surprised that people believe schools encourage kids to believe there is only one way of solving a problem. For such a long time now schools have focused on conveying the message that there are multiple ways of approaching a problem. This has certainly been a big push over the last twenty years.

      I cannot speak to the years before that.

      It is so curious to me that so many people have not noticed this.
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        Oct 5 2012: Well just having completed the public school system and a state university, i found at no point was i encouraged to use my creativity. I was an art major and had only a handful of those teachers allow/push me to think outside of the box. I was not happy to find even the art teachers restricting. Maybe in your area its different but i have not seen, from personal experience, any type of fostering of creativity.
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          Oct 5 2012: This is sad for an art major and inconsistent with the way teachers in lower education are trained, with the curriculum frameworks school districts typically adopt, and with the sorts of pedagogy to which teachers and administrators nationwide have been consistently exposed over many years.

          The dramatic popularity nationwide, for example, of "Writer's Workshop," which places creative writing at the center of writing curriculum grades 1-8 and the widespread adoption of inquiry-based math and science, are examples of the rejection of rote in favor of curriculum focused on exploration, imagination, and design alongide critical thinking.

          While the standardized tests of my youth were the sort with bubblesheets, which is what most of us probably envision when we hear the words "standardized test," even the standardized tests of today often are a mixture of short answer, and short and long "free-response."

          I agree, though, that the big priorities in most districts now in k12 are critical thinking, communication, and support of ideas rather than the arts.

          As you say, though, nothing has taken hold everywhere.
  • Oct 3 2012: Citing "formal education" as if it is a consistent, homogeneous entity is unrealistic and a disservice to those schools trying to make a real difference in education. Public schools, by virtue of the task at hand (educating and graduating students in the most cost effective, efficient way), have to be structured and consistent. The demands of an accountability system (NCLB) that is numbers driven only adds to that focus. Creativity is often seen as superfluous in the quest for data excellence.
    Fortunately, there are schools and school districts that are mindful of accountability and still striving to keep the focus where it belongs: the individual child. In these "gold mines", opportunities exist and are increasing for students to concentrate on areas of individual passion, creativity and exploration. Our school district is such a place. We have a vibrant fine arts program with, conservatively, 3/4 of the student population actively involved in art, music (band, orchestra, chorus) and / or theater. Engineering classes begin in middle school through Project Lead the Way; robots and rockets abound. Inquiry-based learning is encouraged. Most importantly, Independent Studies is an elective option. The topic of study is designed by the student and provides precious time for invention, reflection, and WONDER! The teachers of these classes are trained to stretch individual thinking and encourage investigation through "new eyes". Products from these students leave no doubt that creativity is alive and thriving.
  • Oct 2 2012: I find this interesting and reminds me of my childhood. My grandfather was an artist and drew many things people would recognize today. Every time he handed me a coloring book and crayons he would tell me "Don't color in the lines". He always thought lines restricted creativity and was never afraid to tell me it was ok to break through the normal.
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      Oct 2 2012: We too were not advised to color between the lines. For that reason, coloring books were not allowed in my house. My mother's view was we could draw things ourselves.
  • Sep 29 2012: 'Formal education' could be defined as educating students or filling students with knowledge & basic facts .
    A 'students creativity' could be defined as invoked expression or freedom of expression from an individual.
    We can only begin to see the diferencebetween 'conformed education' & 'creativite expression' and factors that can drive a student either way are 1) A teachers ability to teach, communicate & invoke. 2) A students ability to learn. communicate & question.

    In my opinion & observation, schooling through to High School education is based around conforming to the national standard guidlines & a teachers personal perspective of behavioural control. These two points are the blocking agent to any students ability to grow creatively.

    i.e., The student has been the #1 art student of their year for 3 years in high school, they are submitting their final piece for the yearl.
    STUDENTt: I painted my niece in soft shades of blue because it reminds me of her & makes me feel happy.
    TEACHER: No that wont do, blue is a sad colour & you've ruined the whole portrait
    STUDENT': Why does blue have to be a sad? this is my portrait not anyone else's
    TEACHER: Because it just is. (teacher storms out of the room).
    -- After that conversation, I was graded so low, I was pushed down to the bottom of the class. All it took was one personal perspective of an authoritive figure.

    Another example is as an adult student in university, I noticed the struggle lecturers had trying to push personal opinion & artistic boundries with students straight from High School. Generally speaking you could almost say that Formal education is training our children how to think, how to act & how not to question authority. A teachers job is to teach and over all that is exactly what they do very well but the question is 'what are they teaching and how are they teaching it?
  • Sep 29 2012: When we say formal education, it's impact is not the same on everyone because sometimes formal education can be the conventional, memorisation based education or the practical, project and cas based education. Some schools for example educate with the help of videos, brainstorming sessions, presentations, acting, making songs or cartoons, outdoor learning and other stuff that is effective not only because it is application based but also because it appeals to the five senses of the student and thus helps him to learn easily. And by undertaking such methods of education, the kids improve their creativity. It helps to let their mind wander about and fly freely. Moreover teachers should not just forcibly make the students do this but themselves participate in order to encourage the students to do more.

    Stereotypes on the other hand, are much more tricky because they are not only influenced by the education system or the books etc but also by social interaction of students with their peers. They are a combination of what the students understand from their daily interactions, the media through which they learn as well as the world they experience outside academic institutions.

    So fact is, formal education can enhance a child's creativity and train the human eye to notice things and put them in order, but only if appropriate media and methods are used that help the child to actually think and ponder. Without it, children have no social platform to interact, be competitive, realise their strengths and weaknesses and discover themselves.
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    Sep 26 2012: my argument goes as follow:education for children needs to be different for different children.normal children should be given ordinary education,so that they can open their unknown brain and instruct them learn the world and the ability of survival;for talent children,educators should give them freedom,including free imagination,free space,free speak,free exploid,not limit them on instruction and rule.
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      Sep 26 2012: i dont think there are children born with talent ! maybe but ...
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    Sep 26 2012: Hello Hibah Ameer. Good luck with your degree.

    Here is my take on the video presentation of Sir Ken Robinsons Ideas.He injected loads of Humor In his talk. In fact just about the whole 18 min. was one long joke. Here are my notes below.

    we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out if it.

    The whole system is built from the top down to assist those with intelligence to make it to the top tier.

    Intelligence is dynamic.

    The Brain is intentional.

    Intelligence is distinct.

    Our educational system has mined our minds in the way we strip mine the earth.

    I think Sugat Mitra, has more to say about creative children and education.
    You might want to watch this video and he is talking about kids and a system in your part of the world.
    Again, good luck.

  • Sep 25 2012: I am an eight grader and I attended a public elementary school for three years, then switched to a charter school focusing on accelerated academics. This was the best school I have gone to. Rather than the standard memorize-the-material, take-the-test approach that causes one-answer-only thinking, it employed a project-based learning system. We had class conversations and debates on the curriculum, created group presentations and projects that the possibilities for were limited only by our imaginations, and were allowed to work at our pace in subjects such as math. Everything was based on problem-solving, which is what I think we need to focus on in all of our schools to build creative thinkers who can tackle the current and future issues of our society. And all the students loved it.
    Then, I entered middle school at a standard public school, which was a whole new experience. It was not a bad school- it taught the students and did the job- but it did not encourage students to think for themselves, create, and solve problems.
    I started going to an 'artsy' charter school the next year- total culture shock! This school does use an open- minded approach and offers all kinds of arts classes to nurture students' creativity, but it is somewhat lacking in discipline. Many students in my classes are failing them, because they are under the impression that they can skip homework without consequence, because at this school there IS no consequence, besides the bad grade.
    I think we need schools today to teach students how to be self- responsible, to problem- solve creatively, to be open- minded and to be socially capable so they can grow up to be the thinkers and designers of tomorrow. If homeschooling is done well and is the right fit for the student, that's great, but public school has the potential to nurture creativity just as well.
    Go charter schools!
  • 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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    Sep 21 2012: widen it beyond education. i believe ken robinson's talk to have been too narrowly focused.

    it is growing up that "kills" creativity. that involves formal education but it also involves all those interactions with others - peers, adults, media and so on.

    there are so many factors here. in NZ we have a brilliant curriculum but our current government is dead set on farming schools out to the private sector and reducing everything to standardised test scores, so they are not helping at all and are in fact moving NZ backwards in education.

    creativity is not something that can be pinned down and taught. rather than talk about teaching creativity, talk instead about recognising it and celebrating it.

    moving away from all formalised assessment would be a great start but people freak out if this is suggested.
  • Sep 21 2012: I wonder why everybody believes that "all" children must be creative or even artists. Do we all look the same, do we have the same talents and ambitions? No! And many of us are anything, but creative. Like most of us will not set a record in sports, or gonna be the next genius in science, and so on...

    I think we set way to much pressure on our children by telling them they got to be the next page in history books, and that they got anything that is needed for that, just the stupid government aka society holds them down.

    Why can't we be happy that children are children, and thats it? No, they did not even take their first breath and we already know what potential they have? How do we do that?
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    Sep 21 2012: I don't think it means to... I think... No one asked the government to teach their children to be creative. School isn't meant to do that, parents, community, spirituallity, and exposure to new life experience make you creative, not classes.

    This seems to be a recurring theme lately... "Why didn't you teach my child to be creative, and kind, and to love knowledge"... To which teachers, for some reason, are no longer allowed to respond "Because that's your job... You had a child... I teach him facts, and job skills"
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      Sep 21 2012: It is not that teachers are not allowed to respond that way. It is just not what teachers see as their mission nor what they do!

      For some reason people like to think of teachers and classrooms that way, but it is simply not accurate in general in this century.

      Literacy, is, of course, a focus, as being able to read is fundamental to a lifetime of continuing learning and communication.

      Critical thinking is likely number two to most teachers and number one once students have learned to read. That is, teachers want to give students experience in drawing conclusions they can support with arguments and evidence, both orally and in writing and visually (with displays and graphics).

      In science, the thrust of k-8 grade science, at least in the US, is empirical. It is about learning to observe, learning about how to change something in a measurable way and observe the effects on a system of that change.

      Even the standardized tests in eighth grade science ask students to design an experiment to test a hypothesis. [I have proctored such tests].
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        Oct 6 2012: Science and literacy, are facts and job skills... So if teachers no longer see themselves as teaching facts and job skills... They are mis informed. What you are describing is the scientific method... It's natural, you have to train it out of people, not train it in. It certainly doesn't take 9 years to learn it, what you learn are the results of your experiments, and they should be designed to teach you the most important facts about science and the physical world they can.
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      Sep 21 2012: I am an art student now and I am told to explore all possibilities
      But as a child I was always told to color inside the lines. I wonder how different it would be if teachers just let the children do what they wanted.

      It can't be denied that most part of the training comes from the education systems that a child is part of. Get good grades, study hard, do as the teacher says, make her happy etc. This is the normal life of any student.
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        Sep 21 2012: I do not know very much about art education. I received my basic education long ago, but judging from my children's schooling and my experience in teaching and curriculum design, the last couple of decades of lower ed have not been focused on asking kids to guess and do what the teacher wants, to agree with her, or to hang on her every word.

        But I do not doubt your description of your personal experience or that some schools and classrooms may still be run in this way.

        It is at this point very far from universal.
    • Oct 5 2012: Well I would say David Hamilton is right... but he is wrong at the same time... No teacher can teach creativity to a student.. but he can instigate them, make them think and do a lot more if they decide to do something about it... however this discussion is not about a teacher, it is about the education that we as student are getting in current times...

      Every kid is different... No one knows what can motivate them or inspire them to do something different, or make them think out of the box... Who knows if the inspiration for being creativity could be the formal education that they had got... And there are lots of example to it...

      The only thing what we can do is to make sure that never say no to a kid when he is asking questions, but at the same time make sure you're the one to answer them.. just be the one to direct them to the answers... and let them find it out themselves.....

      Every discovery one makes make them think differently and creatively...!!!
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    Sep 20 2012: YES!
    It should be about training and nurturing to be "Fit for Life"


    What is education for?
    1) Can continue to manage their life and self.
    2) Seek out the stimulus and/or the contentment they strive for.
    3) Whilst providing for themselves and their dependants in an ever changing world.

    ....Advanced social, creative thinking & technical skills and abilities- demonstrating these through group play and role play and individual project work.....

    see also Super Fast Track education system:-
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    Sep 19 2012: Hibah, if you are writing a paper, you will be happy to know there is a wealth of research now on the question of which sorts of educational strategies enhance creativity and which stifle it. The analytical fallacy is to assume all schools and pedagpgies are the same in this regard.

    You should do an internet search for actual research on this! You could start by looking at research in the field of education.
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      Sep 19 2012: Yes i am looking at child psychology as well. I am referring to jstor and lots of other academic readings as well. Its not a paper actually. Its a dissertation for my undergrad college degree.
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        Sep 19 2012: Ah, an undergrad thesis! Then let me steer you more specifically to The Cambridge Handbook on Creativity, edited by James Kaufman and Robert Sternberg (2010). Chapters 13 and 23 are specifically about creativity in an educational setting, but you will find many other illuminating research articles in the same volume.
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          Sep 19 2012: Oh wowwww! This is awesomeeee! :D
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    Gail .

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    Sep 19 2012: Here is a video interview with a renowned scientist who gives a sample of how it is done. He says that it is most harmful in the middle school years, but I remember it beginning in first grade.

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      Sep 19 2012: Hey, youtube is banned in Pakistan at the moment. So i can't access the video sadly.
      • Sep 20 2012: Michio Kaku says we are born scientist. We are born being curious. We always wonder whats out there.

        Then when we hit middle school and high school.

        Every curiosity. Every imagination we had are CRUSHED.

        But I believe it starts in kindergarten.
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        Gail .

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        Sep 20 2012: Dr. Kaku talks of his daughter taking a High School geology class. She was frustrated because she had to learn the names and properties of all the crystals. She knew that she would never need to know most of that information because she wasn't going to be a geologist. He looked through her text book and saw that it never mentioned the fascinating way in which the crystals form. It didn't even talk about plate techtonics. He was furioius.

        His daughter than asked her famous father why anyone would ever want to be a scientist. He said that for the first time in his (illustrious) career, he was ashamed of his profession.

        He said that children are born scientists. They are curious about the world around them. School replaces a child's natural curiosity with meaningless facts.

        I had no idea that Pakistan censors its citizens so harshly. I feel bad for all of you. What is it with these fundamentalists who are afraid of knowledge? Knowledge is power. (Oh - I answered my own question. Withhold knowledge and you withhold power.)
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          Sep 22 2012: Thanks for the information. :D
          Religious issues hence it's banned.
          I'd rather not get in to that right now :)
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        Sep 21 2012: Well then... I'd work on fixing that problem first. Being unable to learn from the creativity of your peers, is certainly hurting childrens creativity more than anything else.
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      Sep 26 2012: One of Michio Kaku's not so good moments. It happens to the best of us.

      Continental Drift is a great subject to study, but, if you lack the vocabulary to speak about how continental drift is one of the forces associated with creating these Crystals, Dirt, basalt, granite, tundra, wet lands, (the list just goes on), you don't know what they are talking about.

      My physics teacher told us to go to the back of the book, take the words we don't understand and learn what they mean. That way, when we talk about the concepts and the math associated with the forces under discussion, we won't have mental dropouts when we fail to understand a word associated with the concept.

      It helps if you understand the vocabulary of the concept you are learning.
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    Oct 19 2012: If training the student includes handing them a fact, only to be aroused by bell later will waste the brains ability. Our subconscious represents 99% of our brains activity and therein is the source of our creativity. I went through the standard schooling and yet I was born with a contrarian attitude towards my teachers which kept me going to the well of odd ideas just left of center or was it the right. In either case, it kept me seeking and peeking away from the straight-ahead. I believe the reason I have always been able to see things others miss is that I have practiced creativity my whole life by merely letting the subconscious leak out. I am very successful because not only can I do the perfect expected normal deed but I can usually improve on it since I am likely to have already thought about why the norm is weak. To the point of your query of how to instill creatively in a kid’s life we must require them to find the truths by fishing through their subconscious for those strange and wonderful wrongs and rights that make up our truths.
  • Oct 18 2012: I think your statement that formal education forces the student to produce stereotypical imagery is untrue. Granted I am a composer and attend music school, not art school, but it seems to me that the focus in art as a whole as well as in the university setting is to break boundaries and create bold statements of individuality. One must not confuse teaching craft with enforcing a mold. For example, in my training in composition I've done work within some very strict rules, specifically when I learned fuxian counterpoint. But what I took away from the class was not a rigid set of limitations on myself but rather I came to understand the music that used the principles studied at a much deeper level and gained the ability to learn more about how that music ticks. Because I now possess that skill I have the ability to learn more from music of the past and apply it to my own work. I will admit, adhering to the fuxian standards in my work for that class did negatively affect my original compositions but it was temporary. After finishing that course I found that my abilities sky rocketed quite quickly.
  • Oct 16 2012: Definitely not. I see nothing wrong formal education. It actually depends on the strategies of the teacher, on how he can improve and unleash the kids' creativity and passion to arts. The use educational apps for instance is widely used nowadays too, in line with education. Educational and interactive apps like the Maddie and Matt's series of applications are worth the try for your guidance.
  • Oct 16 2012: Formal education is subjection to conformity, indoctrination, and social norms.

    To learn to read, write, and understand basics of the sciences is a must but formal eduction unfortunately involves far more than that.

    Some say we are what we eat and others say we reflect what we believe (learn in school to be truth)

    A blind man cannot see (or can he)
    A wise man teach (or can he)
    A man without funds cannot buy things (or can he)

    They once instructed students the world was flat and the sun revolved around the earth.
    They once instructed students that there were four elements (water, air, fire, and earth)

    If one is instructed of the "truth" obviously looking for the truth is a pointless venture!
  • Oct 14 2012: I am from south India and and in my opinion formal education in our country mostly mark oriented. Here we can't think beyond marks. Because most teachers are not passionate enough for their profession and they are working for money only. The formal education system not allowed to think the children beyond their curriculum. Even the curriculum is outdated one and the children are mug up and reproduce in their exams. so in my opinion formal education system prevent the Child's creativity.
  • Oct 14 2012: formal education trains the human eye to notice things on white paper on modestly decorated desks, as for creative? bah, school, and even extraciricular activities nowadays is lacking spontanuity, a little mutual participation of all constituates, a easy goin non abrasive,non time constraining art project, and dont forget that if the childs getting all of its creative energys from a television, rather a able and willing parent propetuating a constant art project or "creative goal" then the kid are sure to create the bare minumum of whats expected by teacher and peers all because of a lack of "exposure" or "knowledges" of not only are great art and artists, but rather the artistic, innovative, poetic, revolutionary, inventive, philosophers of mind, body, and soul, but rather thought, created, believed. So the Teachers, the students, most importantly the parents must continue to Think, Create, and Believe after all we are just carbon copys? if dads to busy at his desk jockey job, dieing of unreached quotas, then the kids will just stress about there failing grades, then the only relief, from this "work"/"school" is a lil psychoactive stimuli, a.k.a. -television, the most potentially abilitating of all the addictions.. my theory? well as teachers get more and more of a ciriculum and a school becomes more and more formal the kids will become more and more like a cow factory of brainwashed glorified conflict graphing calculaters.. and less and less human, because isnt creating tools, creating language, creating every innovation ever was out of natural necesisite, now that everything necesarry is a givin, why think outside the neatly machine wrapped box your dinner, newspaper, and paycheck comes in, a mighty nice louis vuitton box it is to boot!
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    Oct 14 2012: Formal education has actually accounted for a lot of the development of my imagination. I guess the formality led me to ask myself , "What more ?" . The formal aspect of education has made me more curious, led to my aspirations to find out more in the world, and helped me use my creativity and imagination in a more logical, practical, and easily understood way. So i guess the formality of education has served as an asset to my creativity, rather than an hindrance.
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      Oct 14 2012: The same has been true for me. Many people do not appreciate what they gained from it.
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    Oct 14 2012: Hello Hibah,
    Formal education, by itself does not hinder creativity and imagination.
    Creativity depends on how the education is delivered and the personality of the student.
    I really like the 'Montessori method' of teaching.
    There are many schools that incorporate novel teaching methods and customize them based on the students' skills and personality...this is ideal.
    I believe that formal education is meant to be a form of guidance to the student.
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    Oct 13 2012: But when a child is limited by exposure, openness, of mind ,body and thought and what is right or wrong, and all things around them are in the negative, that is really what kills creativity in my view!
    if you see the sameness everyday and night and it is mostly sad, bad,hurtful,negative then how is someone going to think differently and see the possibilities of the world , the mind, people ,place things. to see or have the desire to do something different, to be creative?
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    Oct 13 2012: Does formal education as a child hinder a child's creativity?
    I would say that it depends on the teacher, and the environment and all who are involved with the child. Creativity comes from so many different stimulus. I the teacher shows that there is no right way to paint or draw a dog and that one should think of different things to show and to expose the child to in a positive manner. No rights or wrong just different. The subject matter also has a lot to do with it. Now math is math and reading is reading. However if a teacher uses their creativity to teach. and she or he is not just trying to get though the day! but really wants to see the student grow, and have cognitive thinking skills. yes I do think that formal education can can help the child have a creative mindset. I had a formal education but the people around me were creative. and so therefore I am. but like every thing else being creative is positive and most times some others do not see it that way!!
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    Oct 12 2012: like this conversation
    like the one i'm dealing with for GRE. lol
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    Oct 5 2012: If students where looked at for there creativity, learned in there way, also taking the same tests in there way of learning, then this whole idea of failing would decrease wouldn't it.
    Coming to school and being interested in learning your way, from that persons Talents, would make students more able to learn, follow the class and not feel stupid cause some kids fail a test that only a person with a talent of being "Book Smart" can pass.
    Hands on people will learn mostly there way same with Artists, intro and extroverted people, Etc... ,
    Yes, there is a system to go by, all students should and will be learned all the material of school, values, logic, creativity. People should be pushed to learn new stuff, but never shove them against a wall of a few options and not be valued for what they have.
    People learning mostly there way or in there views of life will increase or should increase % of marks and make them feel good to want to go to school, cause it is something that they want to do since it will be what they love, witch is Learning and the feeling that the students know they will excel passed a normal school system and grow from themselves. Other topics and subjects should seem easy cause maybe you will have there attention and interest more , witch might increase learning.
  • Oct 4 2012: I'd say yes.
    One of the main problems in this formal education system is that schools prioritize particular subjects and values over other important things. For instance, when I was a high school student, my school teachers laid emphasis on studying mathematics, English, and Korean. Dancing, Drawing, Music, Philosophy, Global history, Cooking, Movie, and things like that all be underestimated and somewhat ignored just because they are not necessary for students to prepare universities entrance exams.
    Formal education system reflects our rigid society.
    However, ironically, it doesn’t really reflect the society our children have to overcome.
    How could children possibly think outside the box when they have to be good at thinking on their feet or come up with new ideas if this kind of limited and narrow way of education keeps shaping their way of thinking?
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    Oct 3 2012: Wow this started off with a blast at religion and then went to shooting educators .. Let a libra try to set some balance.

    Perhaps the system is the problem. I see pre-algrba as a means to encourage and excite students into the next phase of math. The system sees it as a pass fail ... grade on a curve ... just a pre-requisite ... a box to check off ... the solution is the objective ... no application required. My teacher was a math whiz but could not communicate the process ... we had those who got it and those who didn't. It took a few years to remove him and get a communicator in the spot.

    We have a system that takes the Lady and the Tiger and Death of a Salesman and says it has to be one or the other. If I just broke up with my girlfriend ..love sucks and the tiger is the answer. I see the Death of a salesman as a rebirth and a whole new man emerging ... my college instructor ask me if I understood what death means and if I could understand the title. Creativity killers Yep no doubt about it.

    My English teacher told us in todays terms about Romeo and Juliet and ask if we had seen West Side Story. We no longer just read the words but looked into the characters and the circumstances and a whole new world opened up. I liked the Taming of the Shrew but loved the Burton and Taylor film.

    In the US the system does not require you know the subject only that you can pass the test .. so we teach the test. It is hard to excite or engage the student under those constraints. By using application as the measuing stick we can engage and excite the student and yes develop that creativity that we are killing.

    It does not have to be education or creativity marry the two through good teaching and fair grading practices. If the majority deserves an A then do it. Stop the curve madness. Students are real people not stats.

    It is not formal ed. It is the system that formal ed is trapped in.

    Out of space. Bob.
  • Oct 3 2012: The development of every child will be limited by its environment. Often we consider a child's environment from the point of view of what do we want to accomplish, and neglect to consider the unintended consequences. An environment which fosters creativity will still have some negative aspects.

    Child development research is still in its early development. (If you think about all of the complexities involved in researching children, you might conclude that full understanding will take centuries.) When the research is more advanced, it will point the way to an optimal environment. All of our attempts at raising children have been based on trial and error, and most have been constrained by the necessity of producing an adult capable of producing enough to survive and reproduce.

    Formal education is necessarily very restrictive. It must produce young adults capable of living in the current economy and society, with current technology. Considering the complexities of modern society, this is a very difficult challenge to accomplish before the age of 18. In some neighborhoods it is considered success when teenagers do not kill each other. Fostering creativity "should" be part of the process. It must fit into a system that has a separate purpose and higher priorities.

    Within this restrictive, challenging context, it is hard for me to imagine what we would consider success with regards to fostering creativity. Our current technology is evidence of a great deal of creativity.

    It seems to me that the basic change needed in our education system is to find a way to accomplish its primary objectives, for large numbers of students, while providing individually appropriate education. We still do not have a good way of "advancing" students individually, much less determining what is actually appropriate for each individual as that individual progresses. When we can educate individually, creativity will fall into its natural place.
  • Sep 30 2012: Children are sponges.All children.The rate at which most pick up skills is truly amazing. Simple solution is teach the basics,reading,writing,math as fast as they can complete the work & allowing progress as demonstrated by each individual. How'd ya do that would be heard frequently in this atmosphere.Languages,now abundant in most schools,would flow & be adapted by the young.
    Natural occurrences in a natural learning environment .The youth can create a new future if we let them mingle as humans .Curiosity always wins.Add intelligence & you've got winners who understand diversity & so much more on a level that moves quickly .
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    Sep 27 2012: The answer is "Super Fast Track" for young people - 15 to 24 year olds. This provides what they missed out on, gets them back in touch with their 'child within' and really opens their eyes to the world....
    to see how it all works:


    For the Student:-
    We take you on a journey of discovery. A journey that starts with yourself and ends with yourself gaining a new vision of the real world. Your virtual journey is hard and long and it takes you to many places, visiting many different organisations across the world, including large and small business, desert islands and peoples of different cultures. The going is tough but you persevere and you discover what makes these people and organisations work. You seek and discover the fundamental issues behind mans eternal adventure. You travel through Baltimore and reach out to the cosmos, after all, you are just a child of the universe and you are discovering new ways of thinking for yourself. As your journey nears its end, your last quest is especially long and hard, but eventually, although tired, you are elated, you have reached the summit of your climb. You realise that from this journey’s end your horizons have changed, and from this new vantage point you can see a great distance all around. You look again at the world and with new eyes and you see the world as it really is. You see clearly the paths to new horizons and new lands awaiting your discovery. Your strength is renewed, you are ready to take your first step along your own life-long journey. In just three weeks time you will:

    Be able to consider any problem & understand its constraints & manage the path of potential solutions
    Understand the key principles of how businesses and organisations create wealth
    Understand a lot more about your own nature, skills & abilities & how to manage and improve upon them
    Have the ability to create a life plan enabling you to manage your progress to meet your own goals whatever they ma
  • Sep 26 2012: Formal education is a foundation. You can design many kinds of foundations for many different conditions of soil, environment, weather, usage, buildings - but you need a good foundation to make much that will reach its full potential.

    In music, you learn scales, chords, fingering, notes. The finest musicians in all genres, usually have some or strong background in classical music - theory and practice. In sports, there are endless drills. In math, it all starts with knowing 0 and 1 - with number lines, memorization of tables to make your brain independent of a calculator - to quicken your ability to go further. In writing, you express your ideas from a selection of basic principles - noun, verb, object, adverb. Some of the most amazing art, writing, philosophy has been created during the most structured regimes - witness the artists coming out of China under the strictest oversight. Michaelangelo working DIRECTLY for the Pope. The Golden Gate Bridge during the fear, paranoia and constraints of the Great Depression. Shoot, even healthy politics requires knowledge of the principles of governing in general and your government in particular. (Lack thereof of this may explain the current deadlocks national and international.... )

    There is no one right foundation - only the right one for your purpose - personal, community, national, spiritual.... . Public (and private) education cannot possibly be tailored to the nth detail but there are some things that we do know to pass on that are most helpful in a broad time and place. Without it, it's easy to confuse, distract, obstruct, dominate. It is no surprise that the first thing those who would oppress do is to demonize education and creatives.
  • Sep 22 2012: A child's nervous system is in development and the entire nervous system comprises the web of its intelligence. Thus a child should not be immobalixed in a chair or it will not develop properly. How to combine kinesthetic movement with various forms of education is our challenge if we wish to have healthy, truly creative, intelligent adults as opposed to what we see now.

    Creativity is more than just brain activity.
  • Sep 22 2012: I recently did the same for the Curacao education system. In a conversation with some people we agreed to the two tems 'old school' teachers and 'new school' teachers. Also the digital world has not sufficiently entered the classroom...The students are way ahead of the teachers...and very creative in the use of sosial sites and finding information...
  • Sep 21 2012: I'm sensing that you feel that formal education is somehow against creativity, and that it creates "stereotypical imagery". I think quite the contrary can be true in education: You can have phenomenal creativity in math, science, and other formal subjects. Much of it has to do with your instructors and the curriculum, but it also has to come from the student. For example, it takes all kinds of imagination to come up with certain math proofs, especially geometric ones. Also, in physics, many problems take a tremendous amount of deep critical thinking and imagination.
    The real stereotype is that only "the arts" are creative. And honestly, look at much of "art" out there - it's industrial, derivative, boring. There are just a handful of truly great musicians, memorable sculptures, and immortal painters. The rest might as well go singing at weddings, sell their statues for lawn-art, and paint their sister's living room on the weekend.
    Imagination is where you look for it, not just where you expect it.
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    Jeff L

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    Sep 21 2012: I think most people just want their children to live a better life then they have. Formal education is the one tool that most feel they have to control that destiny. If they lose a little artistic IQ then so be it. Most jobs are fairly mundane affairs with very little flexibility and chance for being imaginative. The more imagination in the wrong setting the less employability. Formal education probably doesn't make you less imaginative as it does make you less likely to flex your imagination muscles. The innate abilities probably still persist long after formal education.
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    Sep 19 2012: Every design/system has its constraints and affordances. One limitation that the system imposes can, as a result, create a focus on a certain effect, whether the effect is desirable or not.

    There was a saying that the amateur can see many possibilities but the master can only see a few.
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      Sep 26 2012: Sometimes the master's are so busy they don't have time to look around. Amateur's with no need to adhere to a schedule or deadlines, have more time to work with.

      Just a thought.
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        Sep 26 2012: Indeed, time is definitely one of the biggest constraints. I'm back at school and I don't have the kind of time that I did in summer to spend on the Ted forums.
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          Sep 26 2012: Good luck and enjoy the adventure. You only have one life to live.
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        Sep 26 2012: Thanks dude! :)
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          Sep 26 2012: Back to you dude. :)
          I enjoy your input.
          Especially when it comes to things creative and educational.
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        Sep 26 2012: Thanks for the compliments, John! You have no idea how much they mean to me especially in boosting my confidence.
  • Sep 19 2012: Yes, depending upon how it is done. It does not have to, if teachers are trained to allow creativity in children. Religious brainwashing definitely blocks creativity as children are intimidated for being creative, thinking for themselves, believing what they believe and expressing their own beliefs. Religion shows the highest disrespect of children and hinders creativity and other positive forms of behavior, such as acknowledging the equality of people in other religions.
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      Sep 26 2012: Are we talking about going to school or going to church?