My fellow blogger Adam Goscinski tweeted a blog entry titled “It’s a creative culture that counts – time schools and teachers created such a learning culture” from the blog Leading and Learning.
This blog brings up an excellent point regarding the curriculum taught in schools in relation to the standardized testing that is now required of children. “Developing diverse gifts and talents of many students is lost in such procedures and is not helped by the inevitable narrowing of the curriculum by teaching to the standards” according to the blog. Not only are teachers forced to teach to the test, most times that results in their need to exclude subjects such as art and music, where children are most prone to show their creative side. However, creativity is not just for the arts, creativity is relevant to any and all subjects when children are able to express themselves.
The blog goes on to state that “it is a creative culture, not obsessive testing and formulaic teaching that is the answer – culture counts”. Bruce, the author of this blog even includes the lyrics to the popular Pink Floyd song Another Brick in the Wall, “teacher leave that kid alone – we don’t need your mind control”. Is it really the teachers who are controlling the kids, or are they merely acting on direction from the government? (I’ll save that argument for another time, another blog post.)
By creating a creative culture, teachers and students alike are able face learning in a way that works best for them, not the general population. Teachers need the freedom to teach their students the way they are able to learn. Students need to be able to express their interests and pursue subjects creatively, and not just the subjects that are required for testing. Both of these ideas will foster a creative learning environment where both students and teachers benefit.
Once we create this culture, a new attitude toward learning will be formed. The lack of pressure applied to students will allow them to relax and engage in the learning environment rather than feeling rushed to get through massive amounts of material in a short period of time. Teachers will not feel as though they have been through the wringer at the end of the year from running the marathon of instruction prior to test season. Call me crazy, but if teachers are happy and students are happy, won’t great things come of it?