One of the biggest things that hinders us from promoting creativity is that students (or society nowadays) is confined by countless rules, regulations, and expectations. Many times, these things hamper our ability to express ourselves freely as we are wanting to meet with the “expectations” of society. We can start by implementing certain measures within the classroom to promote creativity and reverse this phenomenon that is simultaneously corrupting our (the American) education system. Currently the American education system revolves around two things: rote memorization and standardized testing; both of which are huge inhibitors of creativity. Standardized testing forces teachers to meet certain expectations; in other words, cram as much material into students brains before the test.
As a student myself, I take Advance Placement courses which are college courses that one can take during high school. These courses are followed by a standardized Advance Placement college board exam at the end of the year; thus, placing expectations on the teacher to cover all the material in the book. However, this severely limits the amount of material a student actually “learns.” As teachers cram hundreds and hundreds of pages before the exam, the amount of time a student gets to actually analyze the material is limited. Creative activities that allow students use their brains in different ways are almost near to impossible when the teacher must cover all the material, and rote memorization seems to dominate over other learning methods. What needs to be stressed in school is the concept of “quality over quantity.” A study by Teresa Amabile proved these concepts by asking college students to create paper collages. Half of the experimental group was told beforehand that their work would be evaluated. The other half of the group were not told that their work would be evaluated. Results showed that the group who wasn’t told their work was to be evaluated made more creative collages and were evaluated better due to the lack of social expectations.
As many of us may know, Sweden has a world class education system that is designed to stimulate curiosity, creativity, and new styles of thinking which spawns brilliant, innovative minds. They are further experimenting with this concept with a school without walls that fosters a free wheeling theory of learning. What makes this school unique, is that there are no individual classrooms; teachers and students gather in contemporary style “sitting islands” in which students can mingle and cooperate with each other in a creativity inducing environment (did i mention each student gets a laptop? ). Each student receives a laptop and seating arrangements are constructed in a way that students can peak at each others screens. This concept of schooling is very unique and could well possibly be the future of education. But in order to do that, we must take small steps away from our current system. Even if we don’t design wall-lacking schools we must start with the elimination of certain social expectations and excess regulations. The promotion of creativity in American education will allow America to be at the top. In a global perspective, the promotion of creativity can allow for the growth of unique new ideas and innovation and rapid acceleration in technological advancements.