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Values & Education

Does School Kill Creativity?

“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not. ” – Pablo Picasso

From the very beginning, I have a fascination towards all kinds of creative geniuses like Einstein, Pablo Picasso, and Steve Jobs etc. I have read lots of biographies to know more about their childhood and about the efforts taken by their parents to nurture these multifaceted talents into geniuses. The idea behind all this research was to do similar stuff for my kids too, to nurture their creativity.


As a working mother, I look with hope towards school too for developing creativity in kids. Teachers always have great influence on little minds.

Recently, I came across a Ken Robinson’s TED talk that shook my belief about schools nurturing creativity. He has raised lots of vital points in his talk about how schools are responsible for killing creativity.

Some of the key points from his talk are :-

  1. Creativity is as important as literacy, we should treat them equallyAre our schools giving equal importance to developing new things and looking for a fresh approach on the existing things or are all the schools just in the rush of completing the syllabus? A nursery student should know a particular number of things by the year-end. If that doesn’t happen for any reason, the school considers them as failures. This is definitely not the right approach.

  2. If you are not prepared to be wrong, you can’t come up with anything original –So much importance is given in the school to ‘right answers’ that kids hardly get a chance to look beyond preconceived notions.

  3. We are educating out of creativity – In schools, kids are given a single topic to learn and are asked to appear for the test. Scoring well in the tests prove that the child is well versed with the subject or a specific chapter, thus moving on to the next chapter and the class test that follows. This is just like completing a given work and then forgetting about it. Nobody knows whether the kids have really learnt or understood the concept well and can contribute further to it or not.

  4. There is no single education system in the world which teaches dance every day to children the way we teach them mathematics. – Isn’t enriching our body as important as enriching our mind. Why is there so much stress in enriching a child academically, but the same amount of importance is not given to learning anything related to physical exercise. Why has dance been categorized as an extra-curricular activity? Same goes for any sport, drama, music, art and craft. They all are considered as extra to the core curriculum and anything extra doesn’t get equal importance. If the school fails to give importance, then the kid is definitely not going to give importance to any of these activities.

  5. Our education system should nurture the gift of human imagination. – As per Ken – Human intelligence is richer and more dynamic than we have been made to believe by the formal education system.

I really wish we could have the option of having personalized education, rather than a mass learning system which is provided by the schools these days. Each child has a unique personality, how can a single type of education system be fit for all kids. What are your thoughts about schools nurturing creativity in kids? Every parent can’t opt for homeschooling  as the efforts that the parents put for their children need not always be sufficient. I am looking forward to know your take on this subject.

Rashmi Sehgal is the mother of two adorable kids, 4 and 1-year-old fondly known as Angel and Lil prince on her blog. She wears the dual hat of mother and IT Professional who juggles between work and kids trying to maintain balance between both worlds . She is a voracious reader , avid blogger , Shopaholic, love to experiment different way of learning and unlearning things with her daughter and take pleasure in reading books to her daughter. She writes at