Education Kills Creativity

I will begin by stating my belief is, creativity is conceived only when convention is unknown. Or rather, one can dream freely only because their slumbering mind is away from limitations and expectations. Regulations of any kind, then, can be said to be creativity’s enemy. The “soul” that Chen expertly announces, is the context for creativity: a soul, either in a religious sense or otherwise, is a substance which cannot be quantified. And so we find the soul at the crux of creativity. And like creativity, the notion of a soul arose from our need to explain. Therefore creativity is an individual’s soul expressing the unknown. Since the phenomenon is unknown, creativity causes fear, as fear is a byproduct of new.

But if we are to cultivate a compassionate world, we must cultivate humanity. And it’s exclusively inside of humanity, the “soul” lay dormant. However, instead of compassion, we notice differences from what we already know. And we know that unfamiliarity breads contempt. Usually, we use red pens to mark these differences from what was expected.

To counteract this wanton fear of unfamiliarity, scholars attempt to label. They label everything they can see. And when they must label the invisible, they invent devices. Microscopes, heat censors, and telescopes give us new things to label. And when we see them, we label them. Sometimes we use Latin because of its connection to the traditional, thus already established. Or sometimes we use the discoverer’s last name to label our new findings. Either way, its our way of capturing something new. Of course to elicit calm, we link a previously unknown entity with a traditional one; and to a more important end, a quite tangible one. The tangibility of our past commands our respect; meanwhile the discoverer transcends time via everlasting life by naming something new.

Creativity is then, a misnomer as the enemy of science and math, as we’ve noted it takes creation (invention) to name. The naming gives us comfort. The naming gives us control. And it also gives us a perceived firmer sense of the real-word. But how can this be when we’ve simply named an already existing substance, already an occupant of the real-world? Gravity has always been, right? It’s as real as it was before we labeled it. So I find somethings wrong here.

Creativity is being destroyed. Inside of classrooms everywhere–right now–we are killing creativity. Many authors often refer to a phenomenon called “prior-knowledge” and it works like this: things we already know cloud our ability to communicate. This is why we have technical writers. Engineers are smarter than us, and so they cannot communicate an idea to us–especially if its new to us. This is the way of the classroom. I’ve taken many English courses. Every one of them is concerned with labeling and naming. Professors use history as evidence. Like when they tell us about the author. How is this to give us insight? It doesn’t. It merely gives a student a more rigid frame to think with-in…

Perhaps a better example of this is found in genre studies (which academic English is largely currently concerned with).

Essentially genre studies tells us that nothing is new. They say everything’s a remix. But that’s impossible, because no one has lived my exact life before me. Thus, every individual, since they experienced a different space-time world, is able to create something quite new. In this way our brains metaphor a brand new thought. And when evolution enters the mix, we find newness becomes an absolute–without an observable “missing link.” It’s the context that determines the adaptation.

Toward that end I point out our utter lack of foreknowledge. That is to say, since we’ve no clue what the future holds, we can’t educate via our education.

So, it’s creativity, or rather, critical thinking that must be pushed. In this way I believe all English courses must maintain a focus on the creative aspects of writing–not the grammar, genre, or grading of canon.

I say all that to say this. While academia is busy deciding the difference between prose and poetry, a creative mind waits. The creative mind thus feels new, hence scary to the already established teacher. Apprehension arrests the student. And hesitation is the last thing we want from any student.

But the student is forced to wait while his / her path is first illustrated by the teacher. The already established must use Latin (or whatever langue) to justify a grade. The grade is of course by definition quantification…

And here we find my thesis: the soul is destroyed by the control the teacher (even a well-intentioned teacher) hopes to achieve through classroom management and grading.

In the translation all creativity is lost.

The student must yield to the establishment, or the establishment’s fear of the off-topic will jettison the student. The dismissal happens because control escapes within the soul of said student.

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One comment

  1. I understand what you’re saying. I took HS English writing classes and a few adult continuing ed classes. In HS, which was about 20 years ago. We were given a subject and told to write. The classes I took taught formulas. I do better by writing and editing. My grandson is in the fourth grade and the are teaching him these formulas and i have difficulty helping. He wrote better stories when he was younger. I’m writing a novel and don’t know how it’s going to end because my characters are alive and are laying the path. I am just a guest in my creative mind.

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