I have long been saying creativity is important in education. I one day hope to prove it to most of the population on teachers, parents, child care centers, and others in the school community.
Schools can be compared to businesses with a product in mind. Schools and teachers are the producers and children are the products. We all know we want children to be productive citizens of the community. We have all said it at one time or another. Maybe, not even knowing what we are really saying. I want us to all look at the type of child we are producing in our schools. Though the world needs the fast food service worker, the librarian, the newspaper reader, and the button pusher, is that our goal as teachers to produce them? Or, do we want to produce the inventors, writers, creators, designers, and, yes, politicians?
I challenge you to decide which type of person you produce when you give a paper with pre-made sentences and one word missing or blank lines for practicing penmanship. Is that going to be our future Coldecott or Newberry winner? By cutting out art projects and giving a paper that says color 1's blue 2's red and 3's green. Is that going to produce our next designer? By not allowing children to experiment and explore items around them. Is that going to produce the engine that runs on trash? If we tell children to sit down, be quiet, and listen to me. Is that going to produce the next president of the United States or civil rights activist? I think MLK would beg to differ.
"An important goal of education is helping students learn how to think more productively by combining creative thinking (to generate ideas) and critical thinking (to evaluate ideas). Both modes of thinking are essential for a well-rounded productive thinker, according to scholars in both fields"
Because of all the testing pressure to have the best scores, I think we have forgotten that we are trying to produce the best child. Tests can't even work at a fast food restaurant.
My goal as a teacher is to try to be creative, or a problem solving, teacher who can encourage children to do their best thinking and learning. Then they could pass any test.