What is Killing Your Creativity?

What Is Killing Your Creativity?

Posted by Debra Carmona on 25 January 2011 | 10 Comments

Debra Carmona ArtistI stumbled upon a blog titled "Art School is Making Me Hate Art". Naturally I was curious and saddened by such a thought so I visisted the site and read the article and the comments following. Those that commented concurred with the writer of the blog post that the colleges or universities that they attended for an art education were detrimental to their passion for art. They all shared nearly the same experience. They had started off with an interest for art went to a college or university to study art but was confronted with the repeating montra that as an Artist "You cannot make a good career out of it so you'd better learn another major to survive." They had all quit their pursuit of art moving onto a different career. Some of them learned to hate art because of the way the class was conducted. Most of them quit art altogether and several years later wondered what might have been if they had persued their first passion in art. Many are blaming Art schools for a total loss of creative drive. The writer of this article questioned why this might be the case. Could it be the syllabus, the teaching style, the other students, or were they just taking the wrong course for themselves?



This gave me two thoughts first, If art school is killing the creativity of individuals then I am glad I have not gone to art school. I am a self taught artist that has not been brainwashed or indoctrinated or had the creativity snuffed out of me by the art professors these bloggers were complaining of.  I have developed my own methods of teaching which have been a direct result in observing how children learn. I had been wondering myself if I had gone to college to learn "how to teach art" would my teaching style be different than it is now? I do not even know how other art teachers teach. I get reports from people who attend boring art classes that draw boxes for a whole semester and how they hate it. I have had parents that took their children to a local art school and was disatisfied with what their children were doing there and now they are very happy with the service that I offer. So maybe it's better that I have not taken that path. Is my method of teaching better? I may never know. What I do know is that my business is a succcess and always growing. Enthusiasm for art among my students are growing and I see great progress from year to year in the quality of art the students are producing. I am making a good living as an artist and my students are loving art and their families are impressed so I must be doing something right.



Secondly reading the sad accounts of these discouraged would be artists caused me to ask why? Why would colleges or universites purposefully want to discourage artists and musicians from pursueing such careers. Is there a motive behind this common plight? If so, what is it? So I did a little digging and came upon some very interesting information. Google can be so helpful to find what your looking for. My search led me to RIZ KHAN's tv show which introduced me to  Ken Robinson. He says, " Education is a terrible way to find out what you're good at." Mr. Robinson says we have a crisis of human resources. He give a fascinating speech about what education is doing to the human spirit.



Do you realize that the organized educational system that we are so familiar with did not exist before the 19th century? The system was established to meet the needs of the industrialism age. The most useful subjects like math and the languages are at the top of the hierarchy, then come the humanities and at the bottom of the list are the arts and music. This is true world wide not just in America. So adacdemic ability has come to dominate our view of how intelligence is defined. Think about this, the average child starts school at age five then attends eight years of grade school, four years of high school, four years at a college education, and four more years for graduate school which adds up to twenty years of his life being indoctrinated or should we say deprogrammed. Think about how rapidly industry has changed just in the last ten years. Do you honestly think that the education that is being delivered today will be relevant twenty years from now? Ken Robinson is calling for a revolution in our education system because it is a flawed system.



We lock children up confinded to a single desk for seven to eight hours a day, five days a week. We tell them to be quiet, not to talk unless they raise their hand, keep in a straight line, follow the rules, and their goal is to get a good grade on their assignments. We drill them, test them, and push them to conform to a single model established by either that teacher or the school administrator, or the school board. When school budgets are tight we cut out the arts, music, dance, and drama then we wonder why children cannot tow the line. Why are there some who cannot be still who want to struggle against the system? We label them ADD or ADHD or some other so called condition so we drug them to make them conform. Why is math class five days per week and music, art, or drama only one day a week? Are the arts so inferior? So says, our current educational system by the standards that be. Is the system designed to give us more advantages or merely to turn us into good little obedient workers for the powers that be? With a system like that is it any wonder that creativity is dying? We are killing individualism with such a system. There is a great dearth in the quality of todays literature, movies, and art.



What are we really teaching our children by this system? That a mistake is the worst thing that could happen? If we get all A's and B's that we will have success in life?  My son came home with a recent report card. On one of his final exams he received a score of 120. Does something seem wrong about that? I thought 100% was the best you could be. I know I have a fine son but he's not that good. I looked over the test and started counting how many he got wrong; thirty of them were x'd off. So now, you are wondering then how did he get a score of 120? It was a 150 question Exam. That to me looks like an inflated grade. Think about it. It makes the teacher look good. Higher grades makes the school look good but what is that doing for the child? Is it preparing him for a rigorous college education? Doubtful, more likely quite the opposite. He won't be prepared for the heavy course load of work that might be expected. So, we are all caught up in this flawed system with all the wrong motivators. We really have no way of knowing what the future will be like twenty or even ten years from now. How much will the world change during that period of time? How many jobs will become absolete by the time the kids graduate from college? I think it would do us well to rethink the whole educational system.



I have discovered that in Art class sometimes an accident or mishap, or mistake can be a happy experience. It creates a new challenge to overcome and often results in a more interesting peice of art. I stress individualism in my classes and discourage the students from comparing their work with eachother. I go around and try to point out something positive about their project. It amazes me how we could all be drawing the same thing yet a different personality comes out in each students work. That is what is supposed to happen and we should embrace it. Let's not kill the human spirit but celebrate the differences among us.

~ Debra Carmona



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    Posted by Christy, 30/05/2012 5:37pm (6 years ago)

  • I read this as it was posted on a link of an article I wrote making the case for abolishing the Department of Education. Excellent job. Art teacher's are a endangered species. Jim

    Posted by Jim Campbell, 30/05/2012 5:36pm (6 years ago)

  • My aim is Educating America. My training and profession has been as a Master's Level Teacher of Students who have been Mis-diagnosed as having Emotional and Behavioral Problems. And, of course what I discovered is that the School Systems and their Teacher and Other Experts who Label these kids are Creating the Emotional and Behavioral Problems, and have failed to teach them the academic skills which they were ostensibly going to school to learn. The public schools are and have been dumbing down kids and brainwashing them for quite some time, and what is sad is the fact that many of the young teachers who have gone through the same Dumbing Down and Brainwashing process in their public schools and colleges and universities, and do not even realize that they too, are ignorant and brainwashed, and in some cases, many public school teachers are themselves functionally illiterate and do not realize it, so therefore, are easily conned and manipulated by their leaders in the teachers unions and by administrators who are, for the most part, nothing but mindles drone bureaucrats who could care less whether or not the kdis are being taught as long as they get their FTE counts and funding. Sadly, we do not have Mandatory Education; What we have is Mandatory Attendance Laws, and they could care less whether or not any education actually takes place as long as the kids show up with their warm little bodies to be counted.

    Posted by Jerome Ennis, 30/05/2012 5:34pm (6 years ago)

  • Great article.

    Posted by Jerome Ennis, 30/05/2012 5:34pm (6 years ago)

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