“We are educating people out of their thinking capabilities.”-Ken Robinson
“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up” once said the great Pablo Picasso, a man who knew no creative bounds and knew no limits when it came to his comments. Do schools kill creativity just as Picasso implied? Indeed, they do. How is it that as a child we are filled with loads of insatiable questions and a humongous zest to hunt incessantly for an answer but as we grow, we stop to question everything? In schools we learn to accept what is written in our textbooks and do not bother to explore the five major questions namely, “What, why, when, where, how.”
Also, all over the world, arts is never given as much importance as are the other subjects. Albert Einstein had once said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it’s stupid.” It’s not a single school that is to be blamed for the lack of importance to arts. It’s the short-sighted educational philosophers. Also, teachers who prefer docile, unquestioning students to the bright, inquisitive ones are the reason behind this. Societies that declare mathematics, science, memorization, and successful examination results as the sole zenith of achievement of excellence in a student’s life-they are to be blamed.
As it stands, schools are cultivating distinction achievers by focussing on the book-smarts. In many schools all over the world, students are made to forcefully drop arts to focus on the so-called more important academic subjects. The creative opportunity a student has in these subjects is limited because in order to be successful in these subjects, students must write exam papers whereby the main skill being examined is critical thinking, not creativity.
Could it be just a mere coincidence that pretty much all children love to hear stories, paint, draw, have fantastic imaginations, love acting out plays, music and what not? What happens to all these traits as we descend out of childhood?
When Gillian Lynne — multimillionaire choreographer of “Cats” and “Phantom of the Opera” — was in school, her teachers thought she had a learning disorder. So her mom brought her to a doctor to find out what was wrong, and he made a startling diagnosis. “Mrs Lynne, Gillian isn’t sick,” he said. “She’s a dancer. Take her to a dance school. “She did.
Sometimes education stifles imagination and kills curiosity. It reduces students to test-taking machines. It forgets that we are human beings with emotions and that the most important thing in life is values and feelings and not bookish knowledge.
Eight years ago, a man named Ken Robinson made a speech that revolutionized the topic of education. He argues eloquently about schools killing the ability of students to think outside the box. As Ken beautifully pointed out, there isn’t a system in this world that teaches dance the way mathematics is taught. He questions the reason for it. He stated in his speech that all students have tremendous talents and that all education systems do is squander them recklessly.
Where the blame rests is not the issue to be dealt with here. The important issue is how to reform our measures in order the make the most of our artistic children for, what will separate us from a list of hundred applicants for a particular job is our ability to think differently.