Why are we intent on killing children’s creativity?

Why are we killing children’s creativity?

Firstly I want to say, no I don’t think I am being dramatic (how fitting). I have worked in education and alongside teachers for many years now and recently I am reading more and more about subjects being cut and removed from the timetable, including; drama, music dance and art.

It crossed a line for me last Monday when one of my amazing students (brilliant singer, actor and performer, who, in no uncertain terms, will be on the stage one day) informed me that music had been axed from his GCSE options.

WHAT?!?!

ARE YOU KIDDING?!?!

 

Please note – This post is not an attack on the establishment – This is a REALITY CHECK.

I currently run my own company, successfully I like to think, and I have done since the age of twenty-one. I teach and work alongside amazing business owners and I have multiple skills in a variety of areas. What did I study in school? Well, Drama and PE (among other things, but these were by far my favourite). What did I do my degree in? Acting. Has this hindered me? NO – HECK NO! In fact, I think it has done the complete opposite!

What am I best at?

Creating, writing, singing, performing, working with people, problem solving… The list does go on. Is that egotistical? No. It just proves that at no point did the creative subjects hinder my development, my education or my future (I am also an August baby – so take that education stereotypes).

Children all learn in different ways. My brother – brilliant practically, my sister –amazing creatively and my youngest brother is a maths whizz! Do we all learn in the same way? NO. So should the education system prevent these different types of learners from excelling just because we think that they should all have the exact same education? NO!

Schools are focused on numbers, on stats – we all know this. Do those stats and tests prepare them for the world? No. Do they build their confidence? Well maybe, but only IF they are good at sitting tests.

“The entire public school system is so administered that it helps my cause by teaching children almost everything except how to use their own minds and think independently”

Napoleon Hill, Outwitting the devil

**May I just add that the above quote was written in 1938…fitting don’t you think?**

For the other children it can leave them demotivated. They have other ideas; other ways in which they can excel but are never shown how.

I have the pleasure of teaching children under four. We focus on learning through play and allowing them to be whatever they want to be in that moment – you try and take part in one of my classes and not smile!

Last year I visited two settings to give inspirational talks. One Sixth Form and one Year One class (so 17/18 and 5/6 year olds), in the sixth form it felt like getting blood from a stone – the kids weren’t confident enough to speak up, to share what they wanted to do/be. They just knew they had to go to University and that would be the answer to keeping their parents quiet. The year ones? Wellll they wanted to be EVERYTHING! They had ideas, they drew amazing pictures in our workshops and created imaginative stories. They chatted, raised their hands and they were excited.

When do we lose them?

When do we begin to stifle that amazing energy?

We tell kids they can be anything and then suddenly they can only be something if they get a certain level or grade.

What people don’t realise is that by partaking in creative subjects children have an energy outlet, a buzz, a reward through self-esteem. Give children the chance to be anything, anyone. Teach them to problem solve, to work in teams and build their confidence – because you can guarantee at some point a ‘boss’ is going to ask you to stand up and give a presentation – you are going to need that creativity to convey it.

So next time you watch TV, go to the theatre, an art gallery, a concert, listen to music, read a book or watch a film, please appreciate those creative people who were involved in making those things happen, because lets be real, if we keep going the way we are soon it could soon be lost.

 

This is to be continued…I hope in a better way.

Laura x

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