how schools kill creativity;how parents can kill their kids’ passion

every time, i get near to a school. i always have this ‘sudden urge’ to rant (because critic is too intellectual) about the education system. the education system i’m questioning, rebelling/protesting (exagge) but then openly embraces it like an ‘anti-globalization protester wearing nike and ipod.’

seeing excited parents of preschoolers, like me, creating a mosh pit in the school’s corridor, wanting to see their kids’ first time to raise their hands, first time to sit in a classroom, first time to wear school uniform. while some even sit beside their kids to make sure their kids raise their hands/stand up when asked by the teacher, calm their crying/in-tantrum kids as if this would make or break their kids’ life. i cannot help but had ken robinson’s TED video about how schools kill creativity kept flashing on my mind. (tis pro’lly the reason why i got stressed yesterday trying to analyze myself and the people around me) i posted about it before here but at that time, i’m not yet sure how to expound on it. if you haven’t seen the video, i encourage you to watch it not to be convinced but at least to have a look at the other side of the fence.

according to ken robinsons, the education system is designed putting empahsis on academic ability for the reason that it was invented at that time to meet the needs of industrialization period which aimed at producing workers for the factories, which put emphasis on ‘academics’ (at this ranking: math/languages at the top > Humanities > Art) against creativity. it put emphasis on what can get people job. (i’m being redundant here.sorry, karon pa ko kabantay.kamo na bahala sabot.)  our education system kills creativity for the reasons:
   * it has not much tolerance for mistakes. for us to be creative, we should not be afraid to be wrong because that’s where original ideas come from. to quote him, ‘ we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. or, we get educated out of it.’
   * as mentioned above, we put heavy emphasis on academics. why cannot we teach music/dance everyday? why only math/science? to quote him again, ‘we are educating progressively from waist up then focus on heads.’ we forgot our hands, legs, and other body parts.

and, last detail — intelligence is diverse (people has different ways of thinking by touch/visual/feel/etc), dynamic (i think it means different from one person to another), and distinct — this one strikes me most. distinct in a way that people has different ways of discovering their talent and not just by academics. (vague in here but that’s the gist). i mean if we forced our kids only to the academic world, it might not be the place to discover their real talent.

back to the first day high excited parents which included me, i’m wondering if do we really know what we’re putting our kids into?!? as much as the school to be blamed of, i think parents might be also guilty of killing their kids creativity. but we cannot blame parents, we just want the best for our kids. we live in the culture that puts high regard to ‘academic’ education as we believe that it’sthe key to a better life (i’m not questioning that).

but something is just amiss. from time to time, mark and i would talk about the kids/people/applicants he’d get to interview for some opening in their office. and, when he’d asked them the standard question ‘why did you take up computer science in college?’ the usual replies would range from ‘mao may in demand; di man mi kaafford og nursing; mao man ganahan sa ako parents.’ we don’t know if the kids were just bluffingbut if they’re telling the truth — it’s kinda sad. it’s somewhat a trend that applicants’ replies would usually have the tone of its their parents’ decisions. only once did he get a reply that she took up computer science because she wants to be an astronaut. –> where are this kind of kids nowadays? what happen to their/our childhood fantasies?

i remember i had a conversation with my nanay about college plans (i’m not sure if i was a grader or in high school already). i said to her i want to take up something related to ‘social work’ because i want to go to barrios/mountain baranggays teaching women about birth control (i did not say the birth control part to her but that was what at the back of my mind at that time. this pro’lly happened during juan flavier’s DOH-secretary time.) she replied that it’s a good rewarding career but it’s a job more fit to rich people. so she kind of indirectly told me that i should get a degree that would get me a job that would make me money. i DO NOT blame my nanay because it’s my life and i should be courageous enough to make my own decisions. and, she just wants the best for me — all parents are.

but somehow unconsciously, this mindset is engraved in me which is not really that bad. only, it killed a little bit of my ‘passion.’ so anyway, i’m not going to bore you with my story. but, i guess this is happening. i saw this happen to someone. she loves dancing very much but her parents are not totally sold to it. she sprain herself/rushed to ER for too much practising. and, her mother decided that was it, she should quit dancing and focus more on finishing her studies. we can’t blame the mother — she pro’lly thinks of her husband working abroad for the kids to go to school and here is her child ‘wasting’ her time to dancing. but it is also a sad thing seeing the one thing the kid is most passionate about being killed.

i’m not advocating quitting school but let’s be more conscious of how we react to their silly dreams, and be more appreciative of their nonsense childhood dreams. let’s not kill our kids beautiful personality by being so caught up with society’s this and that should be. let’s make their passion our passion. (eewww cheesy. mar roxas should get me for his campaign)