Teaching Creativity — The Wrong Way

Million-Dollar Question: How do you channelize creativity?

Mauktik Dave


My generation (1999–2000) grew up in a unique era.

When I look at my generation, we all grew up in elementary school being introduced to new technology — the Elmo, Smartboard, the cart with mini-laptops… But along with being guinea pigs to new technology, many of my teachers encouraged creativity. They were active in not only teaching us the fundamentals such as maths, literature, and science, but also the arts, dance, and music. It was the same story in middle school and high school. You had the opportunity to learn to be creative if you wanted to.

But that’s where they went wrong.

Recently, I listened to the popular TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson. In it, he gave an example of how some might view a girl with ADHD while the teacher told her mother to take her to a dance school. She received the proper guidance to channel her creativity to make a living.

In our public school system, teachers tell us to be creative, but students don’t receive guidance on HOW to be creative.

We were not taught how to channel our creativity to create something meaningful. We were introduced to dance, arts, music, etc. but then what?

Photo by Kevin Jarrett on Unsplash

For granted, no one knew about the influx of e-commerce, the influence of social media, and the constant improvements to technology as these are huge outlets to display one’s creative ability. But even today, children and young adults explore different creative mediums but then get stuck to how they translate it into practice. As a result, they get stuck going to college, compromising for a normal job, and let go of their creative side just because they don’t know how to channelize it.

My proposal, simply to teach how this can translate into paying jobs today. I’m sorry but the days of working a 9–5 job are not going to cut it. With the World Economic Forum saying that almost half of jobs will be taken over automation, the only thing left that machines cannot take is human creativity. It’s time to expand and teach students of fusing both computer science, math, science, engineering, business, etc. with the arts, design, dance, music, etc.

Watch Sir Ken’s Robinson’s TED Talk here: