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Mohanapriya Rajasekaran

Human Resource Management - Student, School of Management, University of Southampton, UK

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Can we change today's stringent education system? Can we bring the right balance between creativity and academics?

The present education system embeds the fear of making mistakes (from which we can learn) deep into our minds.

There has to be a balance between creativity and academics. We are so engulfed in improving the products and technology each year (wont be wrong even if I said each month in fact!), that the education system is still what it used to be 50 or more years ago. We are failing to bring that balance!

P.S - Share your views on your education system as well, even if it contradicts my point of view. It would be a set of valuable ideas that can implemented in education systems that are still lagging behind in time.

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  • Jan 6 2013: "Can we change today's stringent education system? Can we bring the right balance between creativity and academics?"

    Education in Europe and the US has already become much less stringent than it used to be, some countries may already have gone too far in this, in any case creativity is overrated, especially in the absence of a solid knowledge base: it doesn't really help you in most jobs and when it does it's often the sort of creativity that most people do not have in them and can't be taught either. On some level school is supposed to be a little stringent and boring, at least from a child's perspective.
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      Jan 7 2013: "creativity is overrated, especially in the absence of a solid knowledge base" - Does that mean that to choose to be a professional artist or dancer one need to give up on their academics? If yes, Thats the missing balance I am talking about.

      "Creativity doesn't really help you in most jobs and when it does it's often the sort of creativity that most people do not have in them and can't be taught either." - What sort of creativity are we talking about here that cannot be thought? Obviously a professional artist cannot seek a computer engineer job, but he definitely can be a illustrator or inspire graphic designing, interior or even production design. Cant they?? Most jobs are interrelated and knowledge sharing derives the best outcome.

      "On some level school is supposed to be a little stringent and boring, at least from a child's perspective." - I appreciate the difference of opinion here. Does that mean a child has to be forced to learn something?? But schools that facilitate more independent and creative learning have had better outcome.
      • Jan 7 2013: "Does that mean that to choose to be a professional artist or dancer one need to give up on their academics? If yes, Thats the missing balance I am talking about."

        No, it means we shouldn't turn the education upside down for that minute fraction of students who will later become professional artists and dancers.

        "Does that mean a child has to be forced to learn something?"

        Yes, at some point a child has to be forced to learn math, science and history. It will make them better citizens and chances are that when they're older they'll come to understand why they needed to be taught those things. This may sound harsh but I believe it's true: if a graphic designer gets held back we'd just have obnoxious advertisements that look a little different from the ones we have today, when schools stop giving students the math they need to become engineers and scientists then the lights will go out and planes will fall from the sky.

        "But schools that facilitate more independent and creative learning have had better outcome."

        There's nothing wrong with creative methods of learning (such as video games), as long as useful things are being learned. The problem is schools where kids get to choose to not take math, science or history at all, because most kids would choose not to take those even though society needs people who are profficient in those fields.
        • Jan 9 2013: I really do agree with you on some point here John. There is a great deal of functional practicality in students learning their simple arithmetic and basic language grammar that makes traditional forms of learning seem sometimes mundane to a student. I especially appreciate how you acknowledge the merit in fun, alternative ways of learning (video games? Booyah!). But if I could share a relevant story...

          Here in Alberta, Canada there are three levels of math courses that a high school student can enroll themselves in. In grade 10 I was taking Pure Math (the highest level), and though I wasn't particularly struggling with any of the concepts, I found myself losing interest in the concepts that we were studying. One class we were reviewing the Pythagorean Theorem, and after thinking to myself decided to put my hand up and ask the questions I was fighting myself over. "Why do we need this? What can we use this for after school? Why is this important?" I realize that those questions seem rather naive, and I can concede to that knowing what I know now after my own private explorations of mathematics (a right angle can be used to demonstrate the spiraling effect of the golden ratio, for example), but my teacher could not answer me. She replied with a simple, "Because it's in the curriculum." I didn't accept that answer. That was not practical to me. If she herself were to be even slightly more creative in her teaching methods she could have began explaining about the relationship between the theorem and the golden ratio, and from there have extrapolated any other mathematical concepts that she needed to teach in the curriculum. My curiosity for math ended that day, and I only just recently rediscovered it.

          I'm of the opinion here that the pedagogy of hard subjects like math, science, and history, can, and should, be approached differently, because the amount of students who lose interest as a result of the teaching method aren't exactly few. Call it creative education.

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