Do schools kill creativity?

As of late I have been thinking about school and creativity and how the two just really do not relate. I was ALWAYS bored in school….always. Another thing that really bothered me about school was that kids are not aloud to express themselves because it is “distracting” to other students….uummm what?

My school was not too bad about that, but let’s think about some of the rules that some schools enforce with a dress code. There was an article in the newspaper when I was in about 7th grade about a student in another school that had a mohawk and was forced to get rid of it because it was a distraction to other students. Why are we teaching kids that they have to conform to what others think is “normal”? If my child wanted a mohawk I would really hate to tell him, “Sorry, you cannot have it because other kids will think you’re weird and will spend more time staring at you than paying attention in class.” Why are we not teaching kids to embrace everyone and their unique styles instead of enforcing rules on kids because we think something is unusual.

There has been quite a bit of talk about how dress codes dealing with leggings, crop tops, tank tops, shorts, skirts, and low cut tops are unfair. I understand that it used to be a big deal about girls dressing modestly, but have the people enforcing these rules ever tried to go shopping for shorts that are mid-thigh? They are nearly impossible to find anymore. And why are we telling girls that they have to cover up their bodies in order to keep boys from getting distracted instead of teaching boys not to look at women objectively. In my school girls would get yelled at for their clothing choice or showing too much shoulder, but boys would be walking around in cut offs and “bro-tanks” and they never got yelled at. I get that people should be dressing modestly, but with all this talk about how women should be able to dress how they want as long as they are comfortable with themselves, then who are we to tell them they need to wear something different.

Having to cover tattoos and take out piercings is another thing that I never really got. At some schools, girls could only wear one set of earrings, no facial piercing, and nothing dangly. You could not have visible tattoos and if you do they must be covered. One boy I knew got kicked out of a school for having visible tattoos and he could not cover them up because their uniform was a polo t-shirt. If someone’s parents tell them it is okay, then why does the school get to say it isn’t?

Another thing that I feel crushes the creativity of students is the fact that from the time that we are in kindergarten to the time we graduate, we have the same monotonous day over and over and over again. We go to school and do our worksheets and watch slideshows and take notes….day after day…month after month…year after year. Fun right? Nooooo. We do the same boring thing every day! No wonder our creativity is crushed. What else js to be expected? Some of us did have classes like are and music, but in most schools, especially in small town Nebraska, our resources and supplies are very limited. How are we supposed to foster creativity with that?

As a future teacher, I think it is important that all education majors try to come up with ways to make school more exciting and bring out the creativity in our students! A great way to do that would be using technology instead of locking it away! (Bringing it back around to my Digital Literacy class) There are so many different things that we can use on technology to be creative, there are countless programs on computers that we can use to make learning less boring and we should start using them!

I think it would be great for schools to look at how they are crushing creativity and start thinking of ways to make school more interesting!


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