The Instigator
thispersonisagenius
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
niltiac
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

School systems kill creativity.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
thispersonisagenius
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/21/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,170 times Debate No: 34007
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

thispersonisagenius

Pro

As a continuation of a recent debate about the same topic, I would like to argue that schools do indeed slowly but steadily reduce the creativity of individuals. I do very well in school because I avoid the textbook teaching/learning methods and try to understand WHY the material is the way it is rather than rote memorization of formulas, facts, etc. If you accept this debate, please do your best to maintain an intellectual, logical environment without profanity and poor spelling and grammar. Thank you very much!
niltiac

Con

You make a good point, but...

I believe that school does not kill your creativity, as a matter of fact, it increases it.

Recent data shows that 92% of students grades 5-12 surveyed state that they participate in at least one "creative, fun" activity while at school. You spend 8/12 of your day at school. Many teachers provide fun, interactive exersizes in class which promote creativity and class participation.
Debate Round No. 1
thispersonisagenius

Pro

Recent data shows that 92% of students grades 5-12 surveyed state that they participate in at least one "creative, fun" activity while at school.

Would you be able to provide me with a source for this information? Additionally, I find that the students' perception of a "creative, fun" activity is very nebulous.

Many teachers provide fun, interactive exersizes in class which promote creativity and class participation.

I do agree that teachers provide fun, interactive exercises. However, these exercises simply engage students and create an interest for the subject, not creativity in problem solving and understanding of the material.

I do have an issue with the fundamental philosophy of the curriculum in virtually every academic subject. This is seen, I feel, most obviously in mathematics courses. From personal experience, I learned mathematics mainly outside of school (including non-curricular discrete mathematics) in an environment that forced me to solve problems by thinking about the tools I had, not just straight application. In short, many school systems today simply require applying a formula or stating a memorized definition on assessments, and do not make use of more difficult, deep thinking questions that are much more common in the real world. This focus on memorization of facts and not the reasoning behind them or their applications results in students possessing a single view of the subject matter, instead of a rich understanding of the wide range of applications of a single scientific law or historical theory.

Additionally, curricula are structured in a way that crushes outside-the-box thinking. Teachers often do not expect students to ask in-depth questions because they do not expect the thinking and creativity required to come up with such questions. My example for this is my math teacher. She is perfectly capable of drilling formula after formula for permutations and combinations into our heads, but when asked the simple question of WHY the formulae work by one of our classmates, she was completely stumped. If teachers cannot show the creativity and thinking required of modern human beings, then their students cannot grow that creativity either.
niltiac

Con

"In short, many school systems today simply require applying a formula or stating a memorized definition on assessments, and do not make use of more difficult, deep thinking questions that are much more common in the real world."

Would you mind sharing how this kills creativity? Students can choose to be much more creative with their answers on tests, quizzes, and class works if the material is more difficult. Yes, some non-advanced courses may use simple formula required problems, but Des Moines schools have more than tripled the number of students taking Advanced Placement courses over the past two years. (http://www.desmoinesregister.com...) However, when a student either forgets a formula, or feels more challenged by it, that encourages them to try to think of their own solution, therefore, increasing creativity.
Debate Round No. 2
thispersonisagenius

Pro

The way classes are taught (starting from a very early age), students have it drilled into their heads that a certain type of problem has a certain solution. The way teachers teach classes, they do not emphasize (with the exception of a select few elite schools such as Phillips Exeter Academy) creative problem-solving on the part of the students. Many teachers show students one way to solve a problem, and expect them to solve variations on the same problem using the same method. I strongly urge you to watch this interesting TED talk, which describes the point I am trying to make quite well:
http://www.ted.com...

Students can choose to be much more creative with their answers on tests, quizzes, and class works if the material is more difficult.

I completely agree with this statement. However, this implies that creativity must be a result of motivation or initiative on the part of the students, meaning that teachers do not implant this in their students. By not forcing students to use their creativity when solving problems in class, this skill slowly withers away.

However, when a student either forgets a formula, or feels more challenged by it, that encourages them to try to think of their own solution, therefore, increasing creativity.

While this may be true with some students who have learned academics extracurricularily, many students who learn academia exclusively in schools are not able to solve the problem using their own solution method, as they are taught that a certain way is correct. Not knowing this method, therefore, renders them essentially incapable of solving the problem.

Additionally, you say that the amount of students taking Advanced Placement courses has increased in Des Moines. This is not the case in the vast majority of high schools, many of which do not even offer AP courses. While AP courses do promote problem solving and creativity, many students remain in lower-level classes and never will take an AP course. Only two states had a percentage of students taking AP courses above 40% (http://www.nsf.gov... click the "Data Table" tab).
niltiac

Con

"However, this implies that creativity must be a result of motivation or initiative on the part of the students, meaning that teachers do not implant this in their students"

The teachers control the opportunities of creativity given. They can provide them with opportunities to be creative, which multiple students take into use. The students themselves must perform the creativity, but so would any individual. Students cannot just ignore the voice of the teacher and go off on their own, which shows that the teachers themselves must provide students with the chance to show off their creative side.

75 percent of teachers believed schools were expanding A.P. courses "to improve their school"s ranking and creativity in the community." (http://www.thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com...)
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by niltiac 3 years ago
niltiac
Yes, it was.
Posted by GeekiTheGreat 3 years ago
GeekiTheGreat
Con i have a question about your first argument. Was this study conducted by the government?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by GeekiTheGreat 3 years ago
GeekiTheGreat
thispersonisageniusniltiacTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con took data from a study without sourcing it. Con ,in the second argument, also only addressed one of the points the Pro made in his second paragraph. Overall Pro did a much better job conveying his possession and supporting it. Well done though to the both of you, very good debate.