© my mad little family

the joy and delight of william hunter howell.

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parental alarms bells (nee-nah-nee-nah): do schools kill creativity?

 

there is no one more creative than a child. they aren't confined by anything, they don't know limits; in fact they abolish every restriction put in place. the write stories, make dens, create game out of thin air through no encouragement bar that of their own fantastic imaginations. the get messy, they paint like picasso, make music out of every inconceivable thing from table legs to fire grates. they invent great characters, come up with ingenious plays, draw from the heart and make things from the soul. yet something in life squeezes this creativity out of our kids like it's trying to get the last remnants of toothpaste out of a tube.

 

this something is our education system; our schools. they seek to do what society tells them is important; succeed financially and, as a result, between the age of five and adulthood, we go from having minds that are 96% creatively led to 2%. our schools don't believe our kids' natural capacity for creativity needs to be continued throughout adulthood, and that is sad, it is wrong. there is no way nature intends for any of us to lose these gifts, and i sure as anything won't turn a blind eye to it. 

 

as david orr said, the plain fact is that this planet does not need any more successful people. but it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. it needs people who live well in their place. it needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world more habitable and humane, and these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it. 

 

as a daddy, i would rather my phoebe lived a life of adventure, of creation and kindness, than a life lost in the rat race, suffocated by a miseducation of what is important, what is fun. i would prefer her to see the world and find herself. i would prefer she was encouraged to use her artistic skills than forced to be better at maths. and if that is bad parenting, fine, but know it comes from a good place and from a soul that has experienced unhappiness and then found worth in life. 

 

but, of course, my opinion should be of little note to anyone because i lost the plot a long time ago, so why not ignore me and just listen to the opinion of sir ken robinson instead. he's quite alright at that whole articulation thing.

 

 

 

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