Deadening of Schools

Copper Link
Deadening of Schools
June 15th

Our schools today are so focused on reform that creative academics are taking a backseat because policy makers do not believe that these areas play an important role in education. Schools today, my own included, really focus on the basics to increase student achievement. As a teacher we know that math, science, language arts are a priority. Now that the federal government mandated NCLB we really have no choice but to do what our administrators tell us to do. This act dominates our view of intelligence. Let’s be honest no public school is going to teach dance every day. Schools are barely keeping their art programs. It’s sad to think that many people still don’t know what they’re good at or what their talent is. Our structure of education is obtaining a BA, MA, or PHD to be viewed as “intelligent”. It’s also heartbreaking when you have students who are uncomfortable in class participation for the fear of being wrong or making mistakes. I’ve seen kids get so stressed out even in first grade because they are afraid of being wrong.
However, another problem is that any subject can be un-creative if taught in a way that discourages creativity. Rote memorization of multiplication tables is not creative. But if music teachers give their students no choice of what notes to play and how to play them, is music really a subject that enhances creativity? The focus should be not on trying to build the curriculum so that students spend more time on subjects that we deem to be creative or artsy, but rather on building the curriculum to make sure that it cultivates creative thought of all kinds regardless of what subjects are being studied.

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