According to some, the traditional educational systems are inherently deficient in enabling students to create - be it new ideas or tools to improve people’s lifestyles. They feel that textbooks and curriculum simply restrict us to the achievements of others.
However, as always, it is necessary to know what we mean or want by what we say. Often it appears that the importance of inventing a new kind of tooth brushing device outweighs the importance of simply identifying the barriers or loop-holes in the current methods. Though the latter just seems to be the first stepping stone for the former, it should not be assumed that both will be accomplished by the same individual(s).
We all know some of the major names in the science and technologies, such as those who invented computers. But we seldom think about the ones who stimulated the need and even inspired people to work towards a future which isn’t merely dependent on manual devices. As a teacher, I continue to struggle over giving either of these people more value or importance than the other.
Often have I tried to design projects that would inspire ‘creating’ and without excuse, I have failed to get the task accomplished with all of my students. Yes, some will welcome the concept. Some may even exceed our expectations. But some will still be left frustrated because the idea simply isn’t appealing to them.
All I am trying to say is that one knows that the general populace of teachers now accept that it is man’s gift from nature to explore and construct knowledge for himself. The intrinsic desire to engage in learning is simply in human nature. But we often mistake the generation of new knowledge and ideas for creating actual tools and machines (or other things like that) that may advance life in one way or the other.
I have found that whenever one tries to provoke thinking amongst students, there are at least three types of responses that one can expect to get.
The first, being the investigators, must Google! And based on latest information, they’d be able to explain the perceptions of the traditional and modern thinkers. They probably even develop inferences or in the least, point out where the notions of the past and present collide.
The second ones are the thinkers and the dreamers. They’d tell you what heaven would be like or just say how the fate of mankind might change once it finds its leader!
Lastly, are the dear ones who would consider the first two to be procrastinators. To them it would be most pertinent to put into action the one concept that must solve all problems. Entrepreneurs … isn’t that what we call them?! Often, they appear more vigilant and energetic. They really don’t understand why others don’t “do”. Who knows if the rest are just too indecisive or simply afraid to lose?
While a long list of notions may be added to that one, the point that I am trying to make here is that I have learned to value each of my students for whomever they are. Each has their strengths and weaknesses … and each of them “create”! I just wish that some of my contemporaries would also begin to appreciate that.
Pleasant is the thought then that that is exactly what this World is made of: people who explore and observe, people who dream and inspire and people who ‘make’. Without either, the World would be far from what it is today and if we are proud of the achievements of the human race then we shouldn’t devalue the contributions of any man.
Thank you, Phillip. My pleasure! :)
Great Post. The devil is in the definition. What is creative to one person may seem routine to another. Culture plays a heavy role in interpreting creativity. What seems to be true is that about 80% of any population can not appreciate abstracts. This is very frustrating to the people that do appreciate abstracts. A building architect used to have to build a small scale model of a building to show the customer. Now they can use a computer program. As I see it, teachers need to convince students to want to develop video games rather than just play them. Design fashion rather than just go broke buying it. Love & Peace, Deborah
Thank you, Deborah. Agreed :)