Does our education system encourage creativity?

I am a full time educator in a school setting, and there are certainly a lot of different opinions about our educational system.

I happen to believe that our education system encourages creativity. Last year, I observed high school science students designing and creating projects inspired by Rube Goldberg drawings.

I see students from preschool on up creating art projects that tell stories about their lives and the world around them.

We have an active theater program in our school. Kids are hearing and reading stories. They are cooking. They are learning to capture events and narrate their school experience through photography. They are learning to work in wood and metals, and to think creatively on the athletic field or in the gym. They are using their imaginations on the playground.

I don’t believe that our school is unique, although we are in a town that is known for its artists, craft people and musicians.

I watch YouTube videos from PS22’s chorus, and I know that there are passionate educators all over our country who encourage and celebrate creativity.

There was a meme going around Facebook recently that used one of my favorite quotes by Alfred Einstein to disparage our educational system.

Yes, there are kids who fall through the cracks. There are those who are not fulfilled or supported creatively.

There are kids who aren’t comfortable with the rigors of academic achievement. There are other kids who bristle at the thought of having to be creative.

I believe that we are all creative.

Creativity doesn’t always mean making a piece of art. For some kids, it takes creativity to navigate the bullies and stresses of daily life.

While I believe we are all born with these strategies and the ability to compensate, there are certain kids who discover that art is more than learning the rules and techniques used in two and three dimensional design or the language of music. Those guidelines passed down through generations of artists and scholars before us can be used to tell our story, wherever we are and whatever we face in life.

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