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“How we discourage creativity” The creative spirit Essay

Evaluation is the polarization of the learner’s work by a particular set of criteria introduced by the teacher (Goleman, 1992). This can be as simple as commenting on what type of art work is good and what type is ugly to an early learner. While the learner’s work would have to be evaluated sooner or later, doing so too soon might constrict the learner’s ideas of what is “good” and “acceptable” as well as what is “bad” and “ugly” on as narrow a perception as that provided by the teacher.

While this does train the learner to “do as told”, and conform to generally acceptable measures, it is insensitive to the idea of diversity and freedom of action. When kids are made to worry too much about whether they’re doing things right or not, they become too afraid to try new things that “might not be right” in their teacher’s eyes. Rewards are positive motivations given to learners in either tangible or intangible means (Goleman, 1992). These can be tangible rewards such as candies or toys or intangible ones such as praises.

Giving rewards motivates the learner to continue doing whatever tasks in the same manner as in order to continue getting rewards. The problem is that excessive use of rewards would take away the simple joy of the activity from the child. The child will not wish to experiment with the activity and be more creative since the objective becomes doing exactly as the teacher says in order to receive the rewards. Furthermore, if the learner simply looks forward to the rewards, no attention will be paid on the value of the activity itself which supposed to inculcate lessons that should remain even after the rewards are gone.

Competition is placing two or more learners in a situation where some of them could “win” while others would “lose” (Goleman, 1992). This makes children step up to the challenge by motivating them with the prospect of outdoing one another. This could train students to answer the teacher’s questions faster if only the first person to answer could win a prize. However, holding competitions as part of learning activities is insensitive to the fact that children learn differently and should be allowed to learn at their own pace.

Instead of forcing every learner into a competition where they would have to play by the teacher’s rules, the teacher should find out how each of the learners learn best and provide a proper atmosphere for each to develop creatively in their own time. Restricting choices is limiting the possible activities that a learner could do in order to explore a particular subject matter (Golema, 1992). This could be as simple as disallowing a student from using certain colors when drawing a picture.

It is the learner’s curiosity that leads him or her to enjoying activities and learning from them. Limiting the choices that a learner can make limits the places where curiosity could go, thereby limiting creative learning in general. While it is true that this gives focus to the learner, it takes away the possibility of exploring avenues that could also be enriching experiences. Reference Goleman, K. (1992). “How we discourage creativity” The creative spirit. Vol. 3 No. 2 pp. 61-62.


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