When someone asked me, ‘What is Creativity' I immediately realized the importance of the question as my personal definition of creativity would be; ‘True Creativity is Growth and therefore is Love'.As...
When someone asked me, ‘What is Creativity' I immediately realized the importance of the question as my personal definition of creativity would be; ‘True Creativity is Growth and therefore is Love'.
As people we are naturally creative. We have inquisitive and curious minds and an innate desire to know, who we are, where we come from, and what we are in relation to our environment. This inbuilt ability to question is fundamental to our growth and development as people.
Before we can define what true creativity is, perhaps we have to look at two things. How creativity is lost and what masquerades as creative in a productive sense and is not. A good place to start to find how we lose creativity would be to look back to the child self.
Children brim with creativity. Crawling into, and exploring every nook and cranny, gleefully trying to fit round pegs into square holes, babes in arms reaching for the sky, they know no bounds or limits. They are imaginative, curious and completely creative. Although children must learn their safe limits along the way, it is the parental no's, unexplained cants, over-control and negative disciplining that first suppresses creativity.
Creativity plummets when children enter Education. Part reason for this, (in the UK ) could be the age our children enter formal Education which is arguably far too young and detrimental not only to their creativity but to the overall level of competence they will reach on completing formal Education.
Children, on the whole, go into schools as very creative individuals with a deep desire to learn and develop. However, our Education system is becoming too dogmatic and structured to allow for positive nurturing of children and their intellect.
For example, I rarely see written work from my own children, from within school whereby they have had freedom to express at all. Ask them what the basis for their writing was, and the answer is always that they have more or less been told what to think and write before the pen even hit the paper. Overdone guidelines…
One of our members recently said she preferred to draw mythical animals because no one could tell her they were wrong. I thought, good for you, but this is a perfect example of what Education does to creativity. If a child draws something that does not fit with a teacher's preconceived idea of how an object should look - too often they are told it is wrong. Such condemnation means most will down drawing tools as fast as they realise they will never produce anything akin to the Mona Lisa. Judgement and criticism only ever impedes positive expression.
Furthermore, with the budget restrictions our schools now face, the first subjects to suffer ARE the arts. The wonderful creative value of learning musical skills is then often left possible, only to children whose parents can afford private tuition.
Dance should be something expressive and creative, yet watch a school production and woe betide the child that makes an impulsive move of their own. Apparently these moves are not what the dragged in choreographers et al ordered. Parental audiences love such tiny displays of inspiration and individuality shining through. However, teacher disdain fast over rides that, making it unlikely the child will dare to express again. At this point, we have to ask, just who is Education for - teachers or the positive growth and nurturing of children?
Teaching, as a profession, is always going to attract an element of old style dominator school master and mistresses simply because it gives them the perfect environment with weaker and more vulnerable targets to yield their control and authority over. However, what of the many, many innovative and creative individuals who enter the profession with aspiration to teach and grow children positively?
Most, will find their dreams of positive teaching turn to dust as they come up against OFSTED regime and the Sats system.
Our Government has its nose so far into the classroom and demands result based teaching and fast track learning which completely unravels and prevents positive teaching and creativity. Schools stop operating when OFSTED is due, teachers are scared - children become scared. Learning and growing stops when Sats are due or in progress. Kids are force fed the same information over and over again for weeks until they are completely brainwashed with the information they need to achieve high sats results, but in the process, they become nervous, very bored and switch off to learning and growth. Teacher fears re Sats results are projected straight onto the children and when teachers are scared they are not creative. When teachers lose their freedom to teach with creativity and innovation, children become, uninspired, bored and disinterested and stop learning and growing.
Then we have peer pressure. Most children want to fit in and do not want to appear different. Children are often scared to express views differing from peers because often the cost is ridicule. Of course children are under the same onslaught as adults when it comes to media brainwashing too. So what do we do as parents or teachers to encourage children to not only have the courage to express differing views or indeed, to accept differing views? Too often, the answer is not a lot...
Therefore it is not difficult to see, how come adulthood, most children have repressed much of their creative individuality and self and are more indoctrinated all round than Educated, nurtured and grown…
Shanö is a new life writer who covers many subject areas, from sexuality & relationships, to creativity, abuse recovery and more. More of Shanö’s writing can be found at http://shonasworld.com along with her in progress autobiography and a support and discussion forum.