School Kills Creativity

by Steven Liew

in Inspirations,Personal Development

Really? Unfortunately for us, yes. At least that’s what I’ve always thought.

Do you remember the first time you’ve been told to write like everybody else, MEMORISE things as you climb the educational level, and been taught NOT to make mistakes? If you’re never prepared to be wrong, how can you ever become original? If you’ve been brainwashed to NOT commit mistakes, how then do you learn to be creative? Do you dare to venture forward? Frightened of being wrong?

Personally, my interest has been in music, computer studies and finance (whoa big contrast). Seriously, why do students have to sit through so much academic studies when it was never their interest? That rhetorical question is, by the way, not linked to the former sentence. But anyway, my point is is that for all you know, a student in a primary school would have been a world-class dancer whose potential was never realised (and could very well NEVER be, even if he was talent-spotted) just because “it was the right and only right thing to do”. Well at least this is how Singapore is.

Take a real life example. A very close acquittance that I know was picked up by my ex-swimming coach and groomed to become a butterfly-stroke (flyer) and a long distance swimmer. He literally swam his way into ACS(I) but guess what, his parents told him to discontinue with swimming and concentrate on his academic studies instead. That’s how education has cultured the way our country folks think. I don’t think this is the only country that thinks that way, but I believe it’s definitely not the last.

I think the industrialisation age is over. It would have been great to get into a good school 60 years ago, graduate with good grades, find a good job, and you would have a secure job with stable income. You would pretty much just have to “do your thing”. Now, if you do not even show ANY sense of creativity at work (and I’m talking about employee, not as an entrepreneur), you are already at a losing end.

I came across a short (yes 20 mins is short) video clip in TED. Yes it’s pretty much my favourite website 🙂 The presenter is Sir Ken Robinson, who believes that school kills creativity and explains why and how it will have an impact to society. Enjoy the video!

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