Among the children in the camp, the most creative ones are usually the youngest ones. Some of them are never afraid to explore. They do wonders out of computer and crafts tools, For the older ones, many of them lost the capability to make mistakes and to go beyond what is taught.
The older they get, the more frequent they turn to the teacher asking – what shall I do next. While for some of the younger ones, they just go ahead and play things out on their own.
There are two dimension of education. One is to prepare children to get ready for social rules, to be integrated well in the future. The other is to preserve their curious and creative nature. Sadly these two do not usually co-exist in school environment.
My other hypothesis is that their parents are too busy to spend time to grow children’s creativity at home. At school students are taught to follow instructions. At home they are left alone to watch TV and play games. Day by day, they became passive information and rule takers. Their precious nature to explore declines. They grow to be great products and victims of standardisation.
A really good teacher would understand individual differences and encourage them. But there are very few of these. As an instruction helper for three days, I came to understand why. I am exhausted. It takes a lot of energy to take care of unique talent, recognise it and phrase it, on top of taking care of the average ones. Teaching the whole and caring for the special drains my energy too quickly.
Creativity is too precious an asset to be ignored or discouraged. I hope there is a solution.