Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Creativity and Curiosity: My Thoughts - Special Post 12A
Dr. Strange asked us in class about curiosity and creativity. Are schools in the U.S. destroying curiosity/creativity? Yes and no. The reason that students seem less creative and/or curious is that they have adapted to be this way. We have learned over the years what we have to do to get by. We know exactly how much effort we have to put into a class to get the grade we want. When we seem less "creative," it is not that we cannot be creative or curious. In elementary school, we want to learn for the sake of learning, but as we move up the ladder, we have more social responsibilities. The work for school also keeps piling up. By the time we reach college, we realize that our lives will be so much easier if we can weed out tasks that are unnecessary. Contrary to what some teachers think, most people have other things they would rather do than sit around and philosophize all day. Yes, we do the minimum, but I say that this behavior is adaptive. If we did every school task to the maximum, we couldn't get a higher grade than an "A," and we would lose all social communication. We have to communicate with others. It makes us healthier as individuals. We can't just sit at a computer all day (most of us).
What can teachers do to fix this "slacker behavior?" Nothing really. No matter what kind of work we have given to us, we are going to figure out how much effort we have to put into it. That is a survival instinct. The only suggestion I can give to teachers and to myself is to give less work. Make the work students do meaningful. Nobody wants to spend hours doing busy-work. If I had a lighter workload, I would feel more inclined to put more effort into a task.
Honestly, I am more creative/curious when I am doing things for me. If I feel like I am being forced to do a task, I do not want to put much effort into that task. When you think something is a chore, you don't spend a ton of time on it. People who like to clean could spend all day doing it. People who don't like to clean get the cleaning done as quickly as possible. If there was some way to make kids see learning differently, I think that would help students be more creative. Most students view school as a chore, and that may have a lot to do with teacher mentality. If the teacher doesn't want to be there, why would the student?