Are We Losing Our Creativity?

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Jagwire Staff

When it comes to the arts in schools, opinions are widely varied. Many people are split on the extent the arts should play in education. Those against the issue argue that the funding for such programs should be cut, being as the arts aren’t a necessity. But what is deemed a necessity? The arts are an important way for students to develop their creativity in class. By cutting back or eliminating arts programs in schools we aren’t just taking away a creative outlet, we are potentially sacrificing a student’s ability to develop skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking.

When did we start to disregard the benefits of the arts, and decide creativity is an added bonus but not a prerequisite?  Oftentimes high school students fall into the trap of only filling their heads with knowledge, instead of developing skills that will help them later in life. Creativity is necessary in order to come up with new ideas, find solutions to problems, and allow all students to flourish in a classroom environment. However, this tends to be neglected.

Creativity isn’t just limited to the arts. When many people think of creativity they think of artists, writers, or actors. While these careers may be blatantly creative in nature, other fields such as math, science, engineering, and even cuisine can use creativity in a more subtle way. Mathematicians need to find solutions to problems that may not have a clear answer process. Chefs are able to experiment with ingredients creatively and even entrepreneurs need to be able to think out of the box to appeal their product to customers. Creativity is used in all aspects of life. Yet when it comes to making it a priority in schools, we are sufficiently lacking.

In elementary school, children are encouraged to learn creatively. We finger-painted pictures of animals and constructed dioramas to learn about the solar system. We learned songs as a way to remember our state capitals and countries. However, as we grew up, we started to lose this creative process. Every year we used these techniques less and less because they were deemed unnecessary. Instead we resorted to memorizing facts and figures that the majority of us would forget after the test anyways.

We cannot continue to brush off this skill set because it is not a part of the county-wide curriculum. By encouraging students to learn creatively, we not only find ways to pique their interest in class, we also allow them to learn how to make their own decisions and come up with their own opinions and ideas.