Nowadays, there has been a greater push for subjects related to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). In school and at home, students are being encouraged by teachers and parents to pursue a career in STEM.
Around the world, music and art-related programs have started disappearing. Recent reports revealed that music is one by one fading away from the school curriculum, and not because of lack of interest. In one survey conducted in the United Kingdom, schools have either removed music from the secondary curriculum or offer it as an “enrichment” program one day per year. This is not just happening in the West. Whenever the budget for education is slashed, music and art subjects are always the first to take a hit.
It is a shame that schools are not giving music and arts a priority. It removes opportunities for young people to become creative.
Creativity is important, regardless of whether one goes toward a career in the arts or be involved in fields related to STEM. Without imagination, innovation becomes an impossibility. The world will probably look different if the icons across all industries did not use their creativity to think outside of the box and come up with the technology that makes life so much easier and more fun in the present.
How can schools foster creativity among students?
Open New Avenues for Creating
There is no one way to practice creativity. Some people are better at expressing themselves through paintings. Others are far more comfortable with words or notes played through a musical instrument. There are also artists who are interested in mediums that are a bit less usual such as wood or fabric. Nowadays, there are a growing number of artists who create their masterpieces using a laptop or a tablet.
Whichever medium they prefer, schools should encourage them to create. Schools should offer the tools that their students need to unleash their respective creative ventures, including musical instruments, paints, and easels, sewing machines, etc. For modern artists, drawing tablets for digital art or laser cutters for signs and shirts have also become necessities. The availability of these tools alone encourages young people to explore their creativity and make something spectacular.
Encourage Creativity in Other Subjects
The school’s efforts to bolster creativity should not exist solely within music and art programs. Other subjects can benefit from integrating music and arts.
One school in Vermont in the United States is using arts to teach mathematics. In geometry class, it would not be surprising to hear the teacher mention the Russian painter Wassily Kadinsky to teach angles.
Since then, they have been reaping the rewards of including art in mathematics. Before the program, the percentage of third-graders who were proficient in mathematics on the NECAP test was 17. Five years later, the number went up to 66%.
It is a huge improvement, and it is undeniable proof that art and mathematics or other subjects do not have to be separate. Having both, sometimes in one class, helps students be better engaged in the lesson and understand more complicated topics.
Value and Reward Creativity
Students will be more interested in music and the arts when they see that the school values and rewards creativity. This can be done by investing resources and time toward showcasing your students’ output. The contests, art exhibitions, stage plays, concerts, and other events that celebrate creativity communicate the importance that the school places on music and the arts. The students feel that their gift because all children are creative, is cherished.
Teach Them Skill They Need to Enhance their Creativity
Creativity does not just require a person to create something beautiful. A lot of time, creativity comes hand in hand with other skills such as curiosity, observation, critical thinking, etc. Letting students sit in the classroom with crayons and a piece of paper, therefore, might not be enough to foster creativity. They have to go out and explore the world around them.
Sometimes, a visit to the science museum or the zoo can liven children’s imagination. Going to an orchestra or a play encourages them to pursue the field that holds their interest. Spending time in nature refreshes their mind and inspires new, out-of-the-box ideas.
Creativity does not just help them now. It will be a valuable skill to bring into the workforce when they become adults. It gives them an advantage against their colleagues, and it pushes them to think of unusual but effective solutions to problems.
Schools, therefore, should not let the music and the arts disappear from the curriculum despite budget cuts. Children can reap limitless benefits from fostering creativity.