How schools kill creativity

This is an oldie from 2006.

I think going into the future, it is important to note this. That to prepare any child— for that unknowable future— is to prepare him or her to be at “that crossroads” of science and the humanities. So creativity plays an important role— an equal role with science.

Cocoy Dayao

Cocoy is the Chief Technology Officer of Lab Rats Technica, a Digital Consulting company that specialises in DevOps, iOS, and Web Apps, E-Commerce sites, Cybersecurity and Social Media consulting. He is a technology enthusiast, political junkie and social observer who enjoys a good cup of coffee, comic books, and tweets as @cocoy on twitter.

Cocoy is also the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the ProPinoy Project.

Cocoy considers himself to be Liberal.

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  • Anonymous

    Just food for thought —  think reproductive health as you think of schools.

    Statistics abound  ( statistics produced by the United Nations )  that even if all students do is memorize “brush your teeth every day”, 8 + 252 = 300  and the jingle about “hipbone connected to the …”,  schools and reproductive health are strongly correlated.   The longer a girl stays in school, the more likely she waits for a later age before she gets pregnant.

  • agreed

  • So everybody seem to be thinking it’s the school’s fault?

    What about the parents? Do they ever explain to their kids the purposes and the reasons why they ought to be going to school?

  • J_ag

    The old saying goes like this— A students get to become professors. 
    B students get to become mangers. While C students and dropouts become businessmen, entrepreneurs and capitalists. 

    Stay young and stay foolish and never stop dreaming.. 

    Life is a struggle and finding creative ways to make life better has been man’s greatest achievement. 

  • Anonymous

    You have to hand it to Noynoy, though ( and GuLorYYa before him).  Both recognize that you can’t even edu-macate  a hungry Pinoy-kid or you can’t edu-macate a hungry Pinoy-kid shunted off into the workforce by his hungry parents..  PresiNoy’s CCT (which was Presi-Gulorya’s 4P) is recognition that a few (or many) children of Pilipinas don’t even have enough caloric intake to think “creativity” or “humanities”.

  • Wonderful points made here that educators are good at squandering young futures and creativity is as important as literacy.

    What I don’t get is why Philippine educators are so non-creative.

    They can’t grasp that fees prevent poor kids from getting a fair shake?

    They can’t grasp that teaching kids to recite Rizal does not teach them to think?

    They can’t grasp that there is more to improving schools than bigger budgets?

    They can’t grasp that aspiration (applied creativity) is more important than obedience to mindless rules?

    I suppose the only reason parents don’t read educators the riot act is that their minds were suppressed by the same kind of dumbing down.

    • cocoy

      I’ve always had the opinion that education in the Philippines is primarily driven by “i need a diploma”.  it really isn’t about a love of learning— whether that learning is science, math, dance or the arts.  It is simply, “this is something i must do for the sake of doing.”  I think it shows in a lack of creativity, Joe.  There is no love of learning.  

      • GabbyD

        ok. what educational level?

        if you had a grade schooler kid, and he said, i dont wanna learn anymore. do you say, OK. dont go to school? or do u say, it doesnt matter. you are going to school?

        do all kids LOVE to learn? even in the best possible world, i dont think this is true. 

        i think learning  can be HARD. like many difficult things, you often dont want to do them, esp if you are a child.

        • You ask good questions. The beginning years are all important, to inspire a child to enjoy learning. Parents can be instrumental in lighting the fire. Or they can do other things. If you have 10 kids, none will get much lap-time with Mom, reading.

        • Also if you are one kid in 45 (the average Filipino classroom size), you will not get enough attention to thrive. You can hide out, seldom participating, seldom feeling like people care.

        • Anonymous

          A 3rd-grade Pinoy student has no choice —  going to elementary school is compulsory (required by law).   But (if people can believe Wikipedia) the reality is “….Though elementary schooling is compulsory, latest official figures show 27.82% of Filipino elementary-aged children either never attend or never complete elementary schooling, u usually due to the absence of any school in their area, education being offered in a language that is foreign to them, or financial distress.”.

          Presi-Noynoy’s brilliance in putting more funds into CCT is to incent parents with financial problems to keep their elementary school children in school.   So the kids may just be memorizing  “12 x 3 = 36”  or “the capital of Canada is Ottawa)”  resulting in JoeAmerica laughing…  but getting to pass elementary-school, and getting a high school degree is along the way to becoming an OFW in Hongkong or in Guam or in becoming a caretaker, a seaman or a 3D CGI software programmer.

      • Cocoy, that seems to be the case. It is also true for certain kids in the US, mainly those in bad neighborhoods influenced by peers who sneer. I suspect that the lack of perceived opportunity  . . . that is, what does a degree really get me? . . . is at play. I was on the board of a private school in Los Angeles, associated with a well-known liberal arts college. In grades 1 through 3, the school did not care what students learned. They cared only that they enjoyed gathering knowledge. Start them right and they will finish right on their own. Robert’s point about parental responsibility, above, is right to the point, too. It just takes a book or two at the age of two.