Experts have repeatedly suggested that education hinders the in-born creativity that nature gifts most of us, by confining us to restrained concepts and preventing us from thinking outside the box. I remember having a serious argument with a friend about the difference between talent and skill. I was of the opinion that what we call talent is consistency in knowledge and practice of a particular skill. As far as skill itself goes, I felt everything could be learned. Truth is, both need to work together. Sort of with formal education and creativity. The relevance of formal education can sometimes be hard to prove especially when you realise that a large part of our inventions were borne out of the sheer observation and creativity of individuals who didn’t have schools to go to. Like watching an apple fall.
From a very professional background, I have plunged myself into an almost opposite creative angle. Was the transition easy? Not necessarily – but the hinges weren’t from me being stuck up in my rigid ways. As such, based on my experience, formal education does not dampen your creative energy. I, however, could be wrong. Formal education has slowly become one of the core necessities of life. Inasmuch as many of us would say we didn’t learn anything we’re currently using to survive within four walls, the truth is that education has given us the basic tools of understanding. More so, it has been a large part of our development as individuals.
If there’s any important thing formal education has been faulted with over and again, it is its methodology. It is how we were taught to learn in one way and how the kids who went beyond that trajectory were regarded as dumb and treated accordingly. People think differently; why get them to learn differently?
A popular quote by Picasso stated that all children are born artists. “The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” Evidence points to the fact that we are educated out of this creativity. In order to make education uniform, it has been made systematic. Set rules, set methods, and set procedures. As such, those who try to think out of the box are either constrained to fit in, or are made to feel less. The solution, however, isn’t to scrap formal education in total because it isn’t the problem – the problem is the form it comes in. Formal education teaches things that creativity would not ordinarily show you, at least not at first glance. It makes your learning process easier by creating materials to look into, people to learn from, and all the possible ways to translate your inherent gifts into material outputs.
We just need to metamorphose into a society that makes formal education conducive for the free minded individuals. And there ARE schools like this already. In fact, without any research, you would find out that kids that belong to wealthy families and attend top-notch educational institutions, are much smarter and even more creative than the kids that attend local schools – and definitely the ones that go to neither. This is because modern state-of-the-art schools employ new systems that aid both the development of a child’s left and right brain. They are exposed to other languages, music, karate, and a bunch of other things the basic educational system would not show. So much so that when these kids show likeness for certain areas, they are nudged to their development.
To ensure that creativity is still a part of us and formal education doesn’t scar it, we need to create a system of creative formal education globally. It is only through creativity that we can develop and re-invent ourselves for sustainability sakes. But, without education, people are walking disasters waiting to happen.