The Burning Question: Could the new curriculum stifle students’ creativity?

Asked by: Colin Hussey, Serif (educationblog.serif.com)

I do think there is certainly a risk that the new curriculum will stifle the creativity that this country needs in a future workforce. I strongly believe that our education system needs to be flexible to accommodate the differing needs of each individual student, and fear that the new curriculum could reduce the chance of really inspiring young people to reach their potential.

Rapid technological developments in the world mean that now more than ever, students - our next generation of workers - need to be equipped with skills which allow them to adapt and learn. In order for this to happen, they need to be engaged in what they’re learning and be encouraged to think critically. The risk with the new curriculum is that, instead of preparing children with the skills they will need for their future, they are instead being taught how to pass exams.

It is not even as if there is no basis for creativity in modern education, quite the opposite in fact. Creativity at school is fostered from a young age, but the emphasis on creativity seems to be lost as students get older, possibly due to the pressure to perform well in exams.

It’s a vicious circle really. Schools are under increasing pressure to get students through exams and deliver good results, so understandably it can be a struggle to incorporate creativity into lessons. Teachers have no choice but to teach their subjects in a rigid structure to get their students successfully through their exams so that the school performs well in the league tables. Unfortunately, this means less time and freedom to teach creatively, and students missing out on what are arguably vital ‘life’ skills.

Literacy, numeracy, and other fundamentals are still necessary prerequisites for employment, but today’s knowledge workers must also be trained to think creatively, innovate widely, and use technology-based collaboration tools effectively.

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