Sunday, April 22, 2012
Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts - Special Post 12a
The current educational climate is detrimental to the creativity of today's students, and I'm going to tell you why. As it stands, the entire system is based on standardized testing, as well as standardized evaluations of the efficacy of classes. This inhibits creativity and curiosity for the following reasons:
1.) If your method of examination requires the retention of facts and figures, but in no way presents that information in a meaningfully engaging way, the student will only retain the information for so long as required to pass the exam, and then forget it.
2.) The model of testing in general is antiquated. By punishing the student for erring outside of the prescribed realm of study, you remove the desire to learn any more than is required and presented. If students are afraid to learn more than they should, then they won't - and a lifelong desire to learn isn't instilled.
A curriculum of study that could bolster creativity and curiosity is already in use in some places. By presenting a task, but leaving the method of completion up to the student, then the student HAS to come up with some way to present the information. Initially, the student may or may not be creative in their endeavors, but as time goes on, the level of creativity will flourish. By presenting the information to be learned in an open ended way, the student is also free to learn as much about a subject as they desire, and so curiosity is increased.
As teachers, it is up to us to come up with ways to increase student curiosity and creativity. Whether it be by using clever programs like Prezi and Timetoast, or using something simple like a pencil (as seen in 'Don't Let Them Take The Pencils Home!'), we will have to be creative ourselves to get our students to be creative.
To increase our creativity and curiosity, we will have to have a strong desire to learn. If ever we stop learning, the creative process stops, and no new ideas can spring forth. By communicating with others from around the globe, and staying on top of relevant information in our fields of study, we can always have fresh ideas on tap to use in the classroom.