Tuesday, 30 November 2010

and more on the subject of creativity....

or lack of it.

children in america are getting less creative!

although this research was carried out in america, the same can surely be said for Japan, the epicentre of all things video game (not to mention the epicentre of all things standardised) 

i got wind of this amazing article via the lovely creative blog that is giddygiddy. It struck a cord with me because since i started teaching in japan it has been quite clear to me that there is something missing in the way that children here are educated.

don't get me wrong, every effort is made to ensure an army of little einsteins are produced each year. no expense is spared by parents in the form of extra classes, placements and field trips. and the kids themselves work their little sock off with school work and extra curricular activities, often not getting home before 10 in order to knuckle down to homework.

 but ask the average japanese child or adult alike what their opinion is about something and you are met with wide eyed bewilderment and a lot of head shaking. ask them to imagine what something is like and that look turns to utter blank incomprehension. 

as many teachers here will testify unless you ask a question which has a standard answer you will struggle to get an answer at all, which let me tell you can get more than a little tedious.   

think for a minute about what creativity actually means: the word is often quite wrongly associated exclusively with the arts. but creativity is really just the ability to generate ideas in order to solve problems. so it is not only the artists, the choreographers and the musicians who are creative thinkers but also the scientists, inventors, doctors, authors and as it turns out a lot of the powerful people in this world who score highly in 'CQ' tests.

“It’s (creativity) not just about sustaining our nation’s economic growth.  All around us are matters of national and international importance that are crying out for creative solutions, from saving the Gulf of Mexico, to bringing peace to Afghanistan to delivering health care."

creativity is essential to progress which is why the policy makers and the japanese board of education need to. READ THIS. and take heed.

you are not doing your kids or the future of your country any favours by spoon feeding them, even if you are doing it for 14 hours a day.

ps confiscate those games consoles too!



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