ISJ November 2017: Students Meeting Art – Teaching Creativity in Thailand
Kimberly Lauren Bryant
When it comes to educating students, how important is creativity in the grand scheme of things? There’s no doubt that students today live in a world vastly different from previous generations. The answers for how to navigate issues like climate change, artificial intelligence, and internet security will not be found in a textbook, lecture, or exam; they will be birthed from far-reaching and courageous imaginations, from unexpected dreamers and radical minds. In other words, tomorrow’s changemakers are today’s creative thinkers. Students in many Western countries are herded through curricula that favour hard subjects to the detriment of so-called soft subjects — an emphasis seen as necessary to compete on an international level. Schools in Eastern countries like China and Hong Kong are well known for emphasising high test scores in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).and England has now joined them. These subjects have a strong reliance on rote memorization and often time spent studying them excludes other activities. In this equation for academic success, critical thinking and creative problem-solving often get left unhoned.