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Gweipo Ster

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Creativity requires the shutting down of inhibitions and working memory and yet when our kids do this we try to "cure" them.

Your research seems to indicate that in order to be creative and to improvise a lot of the "executive" functioning of the brain needs to be "switched off" or ignored. I have 2 children. One who performs well at school, does everything required from the system with great "discipline" another who I've been told has poor working memory, ADHD, etc. However the one with the "problems" is the one who picks up his viola and invents music rather than just practicing. The one who comes up with way out of the box ideas and questions, who is amazingly creative in art, who sees things that no one else notices.
And this is something the school is trying to "cure" ...

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    Sep 23 2011: May I propose the following? Creativity is the second step in the process of thinking. The first is to imagine as exampled in looking at clouds and seeing shapes. Then creativity comes into being when the person brings the imagined to the outside world. Then possibly the imagined, becomes created, and becomes shared with others. It is not restricted to art, music, drama, and dance but can be done in mathematics, writing, speaking, building, demolishing, and maybe repurposing. Schools are still functioning for the most part on the industrial model and assume all students are parts that function the same. As an independent study teacher I get the privilege of letting my students express answers to some things in creative ways. I think of my self as a cheer leader and encourage them at every step, I also think of myself as a zen master and ask questions to get them to think, finally I see myself as a student of my students and am amazed at what they do. I teach middle to high school students and find that I can encourage the creativity to come back instead of further burying it. There are teachers out there that do this everyday so do not be discouraged just interview the teachers and find the ones that do encourage creativity if you can.
  • Sep 29 2011: My youngest child who is 13 is consider ADHD. She also has poor working memory. She is calling herself one of the IEP kids. I always remind her that that is not who she is. She love's music! She currently is learning to play the trumpet. She is wonderful at this, quite a natural at it. She also has a small set of drums, a keyboard and a guitar at home. She bounces from one to the other everyday. She is also quite good at figuring out the computer at home. I could go on and on, but sadly some people are only looking to see if she is on the A honor roll.
    I believe we are destoring our children based on a test.
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    Sep 24 2011: Such an important topic. Education in my view, must always start off with the premise that children must be allowed to be children up to a certain age, depending on the child's thinking style. As your two children have shown, there are differing ways that children relate to their own worlds, and teachers must be 'facilitators' of how they relate at that particular age, rather than just blanket 'imparters of standardised knowledge'.

    I am not criticising teachers here - I am criticising the system by which the teaching profession has to work, usually imposed by remote government ministers who know very little about it - and very little about the children it will ultimately influence.

    Creativity and 'thinking outside the box' certainly does appear to be something that must be cured rather than encouraged, as I know to my own cost. At school I was dragged, kicking and screaming, out of the arts, pushed into the sciences and forced to write with my right hand instead of my left. Thankfully I've reverted to the arts and psychology, and I don't worry about how people regard my thinking style. And I now write with my left hand. It is hard to describe how good and natural that feels.

    The upshot of this is that I think children can be badly damaged by forcing them away too early from their own natural tendencies. I also think that ADHD is a kind of internal 'rebellion' against the imposition of alien thinking styles on the creative mind. But that is perhaps another subject...

    I hope that your viola playing son/daughter really does find their niche and that someone is listening and encouraging
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    Sep 24 2011: School helps students to learn. While creativity is a matter of a formal and self-learning. I do believe that school somehow kills creativity because of strict standards that made students become perfectionists.
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    Sep 23 2011: abso ''f word'' lutely right. this is one of the greatest dilemmas of mankind and always came up when something big is invented or created by artists mostly. I honestly think that I wont be a judge or a teacher to my kid I can only be a mentor or motivator. We have no right to build ideal boundaries on peoples minds. They should either follow the line or deal with the consequences good or bad.