Do you ever wonder whether your own imagination is different from the person next to you? Whether the colour blue I see is different from the blue you see?
We encounter the creative industry everyday, through architecture, fashion, or something as simple as the Christmas lights, although only a few people will realise it. Most of us won’t notice these minute details due to being brainwashed from a young age that academic subjects are more important than the creative ones.
In today’s exam-fuelled society we devour high grades in ‘facilitating’ subjects. These are the courses that top universities will favour and include sciences, maths, English, history, geography and languages. This brands those ‘alternative’ subjects as being inferior, suggesting that they should be the subjects you shouldn’t contemplate. These are music, visual and dramatic arts.
From government guidelines, young people are ‘recommended’ to ensure they follow the English Baccalaureate at GCSE– a grade C or above in English, maths, science, a humanities and a modern foreign language. This sidelines the arts subjects. This undermines originality.
Essentially, what is being created is an army of young people, chanting contents of textbooks, as they are bombarded with fact after fact, opinion after opinion, diagram after diagram. How mundane.
Instead, we need to preach that fresh ideas are the way forward, that fizzing with creativity can be the norm.
Do you believe that the definition of intelligence is thriving purely in the academic subjects? If creativity isn’t at your core then can’t it be developed? Saying ‘I’m not creative’ would be the simple answer. Perhaps one that is over-used, primarily due to the common perception of intelligence, never reaching outside the box, the box that you always say you will escape from.
I believe that creativity can be educated out of us during education. We need to empower young people to use their imagination.
One incomprehensible example is that someone who may achieve high grades in those ‘alternative’ subjects could be regarded as inferior to someone of the same age who achieves the equivalent grades in the more ‘academic’ subjects. Consequently this suggests that talent is only admired in an extreme form, as we are in an education system where we are taught that mistakes are the worst things that you can make.
Picasso once said that ‘all children are born artists; the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up’. This shows how we do not grow into creativity – we grow out of it. This isn’t a new problem in education systems – they all function the same. They all function with the same hierarchy of subjects, with a shared aim.
Do you too see how ironic it is that creativity is a skill that employers favour and desire, yet we are taught that we should not favour it over the sciences, over maths.
I do not believe that there is one quick, effortless solution to the growing dilemma, for education conditions us to conform to academic subjects. However, we must create our own individual identities. Imagine how much more exciting life would be.
-- Anna Tattersall is a student at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds