Our Children are Creative by Nature

179438_573519639346536_934910261_nChildren have a natural curiosity and creativity- and express it freely when young. They are able to learn new things rapidly, becoming proficient at communicating in their native language in their first five years.

For a child the way of learning seems more akin to play then study. They are able to master many things on their own, supported and guided by adults but also highly self directed.

Then formal schooling begins, and we put our children into classrooms. One adult is given the task of teaching a wide range of subjects. There is a lot of information they are asked to remember, often with little explanation about how these various subjects fit together.

For too many children, this new way of learning seems duller, abstract, rigid and very confusing. The world that up until then had been experienced as a whole starts to look more fractured and compartmentalized in their minds. Social relationships which had previously been free and dynamic are now more formalized and controlled.

When a heavy emphasis is put on obedience, conformity, memorization, testing and grades many children start to feel suffocated with classroom learning, especially if lessons seem meaningless and boring or they are assessed as being less than average in their learning potential.

By the teen years millions around the world have lost interest in the subjects taught by schools. Their natural curiosity and creativity goes underground, they start to escape and rebel in various ways.

To change this situation we need to move toward educational systems that are more creative, cooperative and learner-centered, less competitive, mechanistic and test-centered. Provide environments that encourage mastery, curiosity and enjoyment in learning.

If we make it a priority we could design educational systems to be more aligned with the ways our children naturally learn.  Schools like this already exist- learning communities such as at Mission Hill, Boston Arts Academy and many Montessori Schools.

All education systems could be this way, but it is up to parents to demand it. That schools show more respect for the playful, creative and flexible ways of learning that children were naturally gifted with.
~Christopher Chase


About Christopher Chase

Co-creator and Admin of the Facebook pages "Tao & Zen" "Art of Learning" & "Creative Systems Thinking." Majored in Studio Art at SUNY, Oneonta. Graduated in 1993 from the Child & Adolescent Development program at Stanford University's School of Education. Since 1994, have been teaching at Seinan Gakuin University, in Fukuoka, Japan.
This entry was posted in Learner-centered education and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Our Children are Creative by Nature

  1. Reblogged this on Creative Delaware and commented:
    Art class anyone?

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