Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Chair-ish Creativity

Year 6 (11-year olds) at Furzedown Primary School
design and model solutions for a chair, using structural kits, paper and card.

Creativity should be cherished in schools!  It is something which allows us to think around a problem and come up with ingenious, novel and innovative solutions.  It helps kids to think for themselves and means our minds never dwell with a dead-end problem.  Creative thinking is also a learnt skill which can be applied across any subject, but it does not appear to be a central part of the national curriculum. 

The UK is focused on STEM subjects; science, technology, engineering and maths.  These objective subjects teach us how things are supposed to be, rather than prompt us for possibilities of alternative or parallel solutions.

The counter argument for STEAM proposes to add Art based subjects to the curriculum.  Subjective and more questioning subjects are essential to develop thinking skills.  Art based subjects are also important to add depth and dimensions in support of the STEM subjects.

In addition to both, creative thinking techniques can be incorporated into the classroom to help students make the most out of learning.  Creative thinking helps the student take ownership of the subject, promotes engagement and can add fun.  For example, our architectural workshops for primary and secondary schools examine structures, materials, space, colour and light.  These bases are objective and a general brief is set, but the solutions are not prescribed.  The workshop dynamics are generally lively and a big part of their delight is witnessing the creativity of kids when they are allowed to let their minds run free. 

We are in a rapidly transforming world; job markets are changing, technologies are reshaping industries, working practices and life-styles, and globalisation is breaking down geographic barriers.  In such a dynamically changing world, creative thinking must surely be an essential component of our children's education.

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