Does high school stifle student creativity?

The definition of creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas. But there is one problem: the use of creativity is dwindling due to strict lesson plans, too much focus on exams, preparations for college and more.

Let’s start with basic learning and prepping in the classroom. In almost every class teachers will tell you to take notes in order to study for future quizzes and tests. Maybe some students find basic note taking helpful, but if students are not taught how to properly retain the information or how to effectively take notes, then how will this work to their advantage when it comes to test taking?

This sets the stage for information to go in one ear and then out the other. Students will take basic notes, study the information and after the test, simply forget most of what they had learned. This is because students no longer feel that this information is necessary to know. As students, we are mostly learning how to get around the system.

If all teachers want us to know is how to pass tests, then they could be glossing over vital information. Students may realize that a teacher will skip over chapters in the textbook because they don’t feel like that information is important or relevant to future exams. But what if it is? Teachers are mostly concerned that you pass their class, pass the exam and move on to the next subject. That just isn’t fair to students’ learning and hinders the expansion of ideas and creativity.

Core classes are overpowering creative classes. Students are so concerned with taking all of their core classes and getting prepared for college, that they don’t have any time to explore their creativity in many of the arts classes that are offered. Also, many students do not take classes they enjoy because they say they need the honors credit or AP credit to improve class rank. Some schools may even have fewer creative classes because they want students to focus on what they think are the “important” classes. According to Americans for the Arts, about 10,000 arts organizations, or 10 percent of the U.S. total, are at risk of folding. But this could initially hinder a student’s creative way of thinking and imagination.

So what if teachers tried a creative approach to learning? Very few teachers will tell you to make up songs or use other methods to learn better and be a creative in thinker. If a student uses their own creative methods, they will better remember all of the information for the test and retain this information for future use as well. Along with this, students should be encouraged to take creative classes and classes that relate to real life in order to promote creative thinking and leadership. Students should be exposed to every way of learning to benefit themselves for the future.

— Staff Editorial