Friday, October 28, 2011

Stifling Creativity

So, how creative do you feel?

Once I'm done with this blog post, I've got work to do on a novel I'm writing. "Yershi the Mild," of which I've posted a few samples here, is my latest creative endeavor. I'm having a ball writing it. I know I"m having fun because I've got ideas for it flying at me constantly, and I have to find little bits of paper or my iPod Touch so I can write them down before I forget them.

I've already written one complete novel -- it needs a serious edit; anyone out there interested? And I've started on a third novel, with the fourth and fifth also started or in the developmental stages. I don't know where all this energy is coming from, but I'm glad it's here.

So I want to talk about creativity. This talk right now is making the rounds:

I won't argue with the premise that much of what goes on in school stifles creativity -- attention to standardized testing, the ungodly urge to complete world history from Cavemen to Eisenhower by the end of the year (at least that's how it worked when I was in elementary school) and other pressures are shoving creativity out the door at school.

So I have to wonder: What's the problem? Encourage creativity at home.

No one at school is teaching my kid about comic strips. They don't even have much of an art program at the intermediate school he's at. But at home, once the rote learning is out of the way, he's drawing away, making new comic strips, reading my comic books, and doing whatever he can to absorb the world of comics. He just started a new comic adventure today:

I would love to see him encouraged in comics and art at school. But we're not going to wait for that to happen. We'll provide that creative atmosphere at home.

Does that work for every kid? No. It works for ours, though, so we'll encourage it.

Encouraging creativity at school and freeing students and teachers to take on creative pursuits -- from art to writing or whatever -- is a great thing. Encouraging creativity at home is just as good, and since that's where we can have the most control, that's what we're doing.

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