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To Be Different or Like Everyone Else?

Does today's educational system kill creativity?

To Be Different or Like Everyone Else?

A school or university become a difficult and tough trial for some students. Not only do they endure peer pressure and fairly low self-esteem, but also patterns in education do not allow them to fully reveal their potential. I mean the boundaries that education systems expose to us, thereby killing all the ways to show ourselves and our true thoughts, in other words slaying our creativity.

Most of us know such an exam as the USE (Unified State Exam).  Take, for example, the subject “Russian language”. The final assignment in it is an essay.

It may seem that this is interesting and that, at the same time, there are open spaces for creativity and self-development, but this is not the case. You have clear requirements for work, criteria. If you don’t follow them, your composition will lose points.

For example, you must have 7 paragraphs and the fourth must begin with the phrase "It is impossible to disagree with the author, because ..." It turns out that this proposal is a cliché that must be observed.

But what if I do not support the opinion of the author and consider him absurd? Unfortunately, nothing. You and I have to come to terms and write as they say. Otherwise, we will not pass the exam successfully and will have to “say goodbye” to entering the university of your dream.

Besides, remember that most of the tasks are multiple choice questions. A sheet of paper with questions lies in front of you and you have 4 options for each answer. These options also build boundaries, a kind of fence, beyond which you cannot learn.

Do people really think that this type of task can develop creative thinking and may teach something? It does not train to think, only suppresses these processes in our brain.

To stop “being like everyone else”, you can just drop the “boundaries”

After all, all that is required from you is to circle the correct answer. It must be noted, of course, that such tasks speed up the verification process and make it more objective. But I am convinced that it does not test knowledge, and furthermore, does not show creativity.

Given the foregoing, I can say that such tasks and educational systems that use them can kill the creativity of people. They make us think and do something cliched. Because of this, we bury a part of our potential deep inside us, preventing it from opening up.

To stop “being like everyone else”, you can just drop the “boundaries”, in general. For instance, instead of test with multiple-choice, it would be better to give open-ended questions and answers.

Instead of a clearly structured essay with introductory constructions, an ordinary composition that reflects a person’s thoughts on a specific subject or topic. At the same time, it is obligatory not to access how much it compares with the teacher’s point of view or criteria, but the consistency and logic of the student’s judgments.

And the most important thing to do is to stop being afraid. Yes, it is fear that makes us adapt to the "framework". Speaking of teenagers or students, they are afraid that someone will laugh at them if they do something different. But creative problem solving or a non-standard approach to study makes it more interesting, at least for you. Who needs clichés when the best way to do something is to do it yourself and as you want?

Text by
Valeriia Pivovarova