Creativity, Intelligence & Education | INFJ Forum

Creativity, Intelligence & Education

Discussion in 'Education and Careers' started by Gaze, Oct 14, 2009.

Share This Page

More threads by Gaze
  1. Gaze

    Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Threads:
    2,381
    Messages:
    28,303
    Featured Threads:
    94
    Likes Received:
    22,990
    Trophy Points:
    1,906
    MBTI:
    INFPishy
    This comment was inspired by this youtube video lecture on "Do Schools Kill Creativity?"

    [YOUTUBE]7Eh2QlJfuHM[/YOUTUBE]

    Creativity, the way we have come to look at it, generally reflects an emphasis on unique ways of being, thinking, or doing. Creativity, especially in the arts, is often associated with the uniqueness of the person because of their talent, whereas creativity in other areas such as science or math is treated as uniqueness of talent in mental abilities/brain smarts.

    Why? Well, with the sciences and the math, it is the brain or mind of the person which is considered brilliant or genius, but in the arts, it is the person's talent and abilities which is treated as unique. We think of creative talents as non-transferable, meaning that it is unique to the person. In other words, it is more acceptable to say I'm just not good at music or drama because the arts are associated with talent, but in math or sciences, it will always be argued that if you just work hard enough you can get the answer (although is not necessarily true), because it is perceived as based on reason, logic, factual knowledge.

    The ability to think differently from the norm is not often appreciated or accepted as many would like to think, so those who have much to offer in creativity in areas where the immediate real-world applications are not evident, sometimes lose some acuity in these areas because they are not being given the opportunity to exercise those skills / intelligences. This undoubtedly leads to boredom.

    Today, with the emphasis on equality, there is a tendency in the system to not want anyone to stand out because it makes others feel inferior, leading to fears of discrimination and prejudice against those who don't possess a particular kind of smarts or creativity. This reluctance to acknowledge uniqueness stifles creativity significantly.

    It seems that one of the main reasons why some "creative" talents or abilities are overlooked is that it takes more time to exercise such creativity and we are living in an environment which worships speed / quickness of thinking. If it takes a great deal of time to complete a task, this is considered inefficient and inferior. Furthermore, if you are labeled a slow learner, you are doubly, even triply, disadvantaged and considered less competent for this fact alone than those who learn quickly.

    And education too often focuses NOT on learning and understanding but on memorization. The result is that if it takes you longer to read, memorize, and understand, you are more likely to receive a lower grade than someone who can amass large amounts of information for a paper or final exam, whether or not they understand.

    So, there are gross inequalities in the educational system which need to be addressed soon or future learners are doomed to fail because of the lack of recognition of different types of creativity, creative intelligences, and the ways in which they are exercised.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #1 Gaze, Oct 14, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  2. krooler

    krooler Community Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Threads:
    11
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INXX
    adhere!
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. OP
    Gaze

    Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Threads:
    2,381
    Messages:
    28,303
    Featured Threads:
    94
    Likes Received:
    22,990
    Trophy Points:
    1,906
    MBTI:
    INFPishy
    ???
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

  5. testing

    On Holiday

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Threads:
    37
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    90
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    qwer
    Hey, I liked that video. I hate to see kids forced to give up their creativity and talents because those talents are "not valuable".

    The trend in education where I live is to start the process earlier and earlier... rote learning, being forced to sit still, and filling out worksheets at ridiculously young ages, sometimes as young as 3. Long school days, cutting out P.E... It's crazy! These kind of demands are practically impossible for most children, and leads to them learning to loathe school, and getting diagnosed with things that I don't believe for a moment are actual diseases. Makes them very sad and jaded too.
     
  6. OP
    Gaze

    Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Threads:
    2,381
    Messages:
    28,303
    Featured Threads:
    94
    Likes Received:
    22,990
    Trophy Points:
    1,906
    MBTI:
    INFPishy
    I agree. I think there should be some structure but some of the structure is a bit too restrictive.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Threads:
    132
    Messages:
    2,838
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1,990
    Trophy Points:
    802
    MBTI:
    Enneagram:
    4w5
    There are already some schools out there that promote creativity and independence in learning. I don't know if you've heard of montessori school, well here is their mission statement:

    http://www.montessori-namta.org/NAMTA/geninfo/whatismont.html

    But you're right, our school system needs to re-define how they are teaching their students, one way to start off with is to find out exactly what motivates each age group in order to learn. Some like to work with their hands, experience life through their senses instead of by books. Others like to learn in a traditional school system, others like to work through their creativity creating works of art and others like to learn through intellectual stimulation. The problem is that most if not all of our schools focus the teaching in a traditional way where tests and reading boring books decide whether or not you go to the next level.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. laurie

    laurie Snowblind in Dreamland

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Threads:
    20
    Messages:
    1,382
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    9w1
    My experience with this is that during primary and secondary school you are forced to just memorise information that does destroy creativity to an extent.
    However, during college, I have found that creativity and independent creative thinking are encouraged, especially in subjects such as English Literature and Film Studies. I think that, largely, it depends on the subject choice (which you don't get below GCSE level and even then it's restricted). Sciences and maths are obviously going to be more focused (or entirely focused) on memorising and then applying facts as that's what those subjects are about. Whereas English Literature (although you need to memorise critics and the contexts of texts) leaves a lot open to debate and does not demand definite answers (as you can put anything you want down as long as you can quote to back it up).
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. bamf

    bamf Is Watching You
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Threads:
    289
    Messages:
    10,794
    Likes Received:
    1,933
    Trophy Points:
    453
    MBTI:
    Meh
    Enneagram:
    Meh
    The problem (in my humble opinion) is that instead of teaching kids to understand, that educators rely on rote knowledge. They are teaching the kids to pass a test and the kids aren't stupid, it's easier to memorize than take the time to explore, fail, change their approach, and eventually succeed at the task. It's easier to teach/learn a fact that teach/understand how/why something is the way it is.

    And I'd also argue that creative talents very much can be learned through practice the same way more 'scholarly' subjects are. Sure not every is going to be a Mozart but not everyone is going to be an Einstein. Anyone who puts the time in could become a decent composer just like anyone who puts the time in could have a decent understanding of quantum mechanics.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. OP
    Gaze

    Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Threads:
    2,381
    Messages:
    28,303
    Featured Threads:
    94
    Likes Received:
    22,990
    Trophy Points:
    1,906
    MBTI:
    INFPishy
    Interesting perspective.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. Norton

    Norton XXXX

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    1,527
    Likes Received:
    524
    Trophy Points:
    667
    MBTI:
    XXXX
    Enneagram:
    XXXX
    Maybe primary and secondary school teachers and administrators are predominantly S's while College Profs are mostly N's.

    In mathematics and other quantitative courses it used to drive me nuts when the teacher forced us to solve a particular problem using only his or her method. If one correctly solved the problem but with a different method, the answer would be marked wrong. Stupid. This is strange considering that mathematical literature is filled with papers that describe new ways to solve or prove things. Solving problems in new ways should be encouraged, not punished.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people hate and/or are afraid of mathematics and I think this is largely because it is so poorly taught by teachers who would rather rigidly follow rules than engender imagination, creativity and enthusiasm.

    I think that imagination and creativity imply change and are therefore threatening to people. Also, many teachers are threatened by really smart students.
     
  12. OP
    Gaze

    Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Threads:
    2,381
    Messages:
    28,303
    Featured Threads:
    94
    Likes Received:
    22,990
    Trophy Points:
    1,906
    MBTI:
    INFPishy

    I agree with you to an extent but it's not always that simple. Sometimes really smart students can also be extremely arrogant, and focus more of their efforts on trying to prove the instructor wrong than helping others to learn. Also, really smart students sometimes fail to realize that just because they understand the math, others may not. What's simple for them is not simple for others. So, although they may know a different methodology, that methodology may not work when you are attempting to explain the math formula or problem. And instructors don't have the luxury of teaching every possible method to fit every learning style. Instructors are usually under a lot of pressure to cover quite a bit of material every term, there's usually too much to cover, and not enough time to do it. It is also the problem that students sometimes do not take responsibility for themselves and depend too much on the instructor rather than reason for themselves. In some cases, the issue is not that the instructor is not open to other methods is that when a student uses another method, they're unable to explain it. If you are going to offer other options or methods, it's not enough to simply know it for yourself. It is also important that you can explain it someone else so that they know and understand. This is why teaching is an art, and not a science.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #12 Gaze, Oct 14, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  13. testing

    On Holiday

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Threads:
    37
    Messages:
    902
    Likes Received:
    90
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    qwer
    This was true for me in grade school, but at the high school level, I was fortunate enough to find a couple of teachers who infected me with just a bit of their enthusiasm for math, and I managed to pass (with difficulty) some pretty advanced classes, to my surprise. :m187: Sometimes it was as simple as you know, not humiliating me for taking a while to catch on. Miraculously, I did pretty well with those teachers.

    I also think that some teachers are really burned out.

    Some teachers actually dislike certain students -- I am not sure if it is a "feeling threatened" thing, or a personality thing, but I'm pretty convinced there are some teachers who dislike little boys in particular because little boys have a harder time sitting still and toeing the line than little girls.

    (The political correctness gods will probably strike me down for saying so. zzzzzaaap....)

    But I maintain that there are a lot of teachers who dislike teaching little boys. I will never let one of them near my children.
     
    Blind Bandit likes this.
  14. Norton

    Norton XXXX

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    1,527
    Likes Received:
    524
    Trophy Points:
    667
    MBTI:
    XXXX
    Enneagram:
    XXXX
    All that you say is probably true. And, I've certainly had a lot of unpleasant experience with obnoxious, yet brilliant people, but they don't disappear when you get out of school. Indeed, they may become your bosses, colleagues, and aggressive, socially inept underlings. The challenge is to teach people to be socially competent and empathetic even if they are brilliant (brilliance is never an excuse for selfish, mean, or disruptive behavior--there are many brilliant nice people, too). At the same time, though, society benefits from brilliant people whether they are nice or not. I've worked a lot with successful entrepreneurs and I've found many to be rather obnoxious, aggressive, and narcissistic. But, who do you think takes such risks? Bottom line: A truly gifted teacher manifests his or her brilliance by effectively teaching students who span the bell curve of intelligence. Unfortunately, such teachers are rare.
     
  15. OP
    Gaze

    Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Threads:
    2,381
    Messages:
    28,303
    Featured Threads:
    94
    Likes Received:
    22,990
    Trophy Points:
    1,906
    MBTI:
    INFPishy
    The ones who are arrogant should know when to put aside their arrogance so that the focus is placed on the benefits available to everyone through their brilliance. A truly gifted teacher can effectively teach students but they are not gods. They will do their best, but it is still the student with the right attitude, approach, dedication, discipline, respect for the learning process, who will truly succeed in the presence of a gifted teacher. It takes two to tango. Teachers can't be held accountable or responsible for everything.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #15 Gaze, Oct 14, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  16. Norton

    Norton XXXX

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    1,527
    Likes Received:
    524
    Trophy Points:
    667
    MBTI:
    XXXX
    Enneagram:
    XXXX
    I guess what I'm trying to say is that education is a complex process that inevitably leads to compromise that falls far short of ideal. There are always going to be arrogant students, burnt out teachers, not to mention students who just want to pass, and teachers who just want a pay check. If you're lucky, you get to attend schools in neighborhoods where education is valued, parents teach their kids respect and manners, and teachers are enthusiastic and motivated. These places do exist but there are not nearly enough of them.

    I'm an inventor, which one could say is a "creative" occupation. School didn't squelch me but that may be because I'm such an introvert that I rarely participated in class, hardly paid attention to teachers, and went home and taught myself. I'd much rather write than speak. Because I've never cared what people think of me, I've been immune to peer pressure and went my own way. Although I'm very reserved, I try to be nice and a good person. People I know seem to like me. So, I don't think I'm one of the arrogant ones--at least I hope not.
     
  17. OP
    Gaze

    Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Threads:
    2,381
    Messages:
    28,303
    Featured Threads:
    94
    Likes Received:
    22,990
    Trophy Points:
    1,906
    MBTI:
    INFPishy
    Pretty much saying "this is just the way it is", is rarely effective. It teaches many to avoid compromise because they then complacently accept the premise that they are not in control of their success and actions, when they truly are. It becomes too easy to blame someone else for not doing well. There's many things I had to learn on my own as well, and that was expected.

    I'm not sure if you've ever taught before but the teacher-student dynamic is much more complicated than assigning each person less than ideal motives for doing what they do. The teacher who just wants a paycheck doesn't typically start out thinking this way. Much of this comes years after dealing with poor attitudes, lack of effort, and lost idealism, or belief that one can truly make a difference. So, it's not that simple.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #17 Gaze, Oct 14, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  18. Norton

    Norton XXXX

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    1,527
    Likes Received:
    524
    Trophy Points:
    667
    MBTI:
    XXXX
    Enneagram:
    XXXX
    I agree with the above. But, what would you propose to improve things? Please consider political reality (I'm in the U.S.) and that many students' parents lack the insight and understanding that you have. S's are in the majority and they may not agree with N's regarding education and creativity.

    Personally, I've been beaten up by reality too often to expect (or hope for) much more than a mediocre compromise. Hopefully, many creative kids will succeed despite "education." I guess my guiding principles have been persistence and endurance. They've worked for me but I have scars.
     
  19. Duty

    Duty Permanent Fixture

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Threads:
    30
    Messages:
    1,069
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    119
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INTP
    Enneagram:
    5w4
    I experienced an extremely terrible school life. Creativity was, indeed, not allowed. Pursuing my personal academic interests (and I had them as early as age 9) was not encouraged, and in fact was discouraged as it got "in the way" of what I had to learn in my classes.

    The way math and science is taught in schools is abhorrent to me. It is taught as a linear memorization process. That is not what scientists or mathematicians do...they learn how to find out new things, not just learn the old things. The process of discovery and proof needs desperately to enter the math and science classrooms.

    The only time in primary or secondary school kids are exposed to proofs is high school geometry...and it's just overly simplified, linear, proofs. Proofs themselves come with a set of rules just like algebra does. Once you have know those set of rules, you can attempt to prove just about anything that is capable of being proven. It allows the creative aspect of proving mathematical theorums to flourish...and sets up an understanding of how mathematics is discovered.

    Science is just not linked to mathematics enough, especially the proof process. It's like my biology teacher and my chemistry teacher in school thought math was too hard to apply to the subject, and so only very basic arithmetic and very basic algebra (on the level of 9 = 3x) were ever used. Why in the world are proofs not used in science? It's fundamental to any science, when you're discovering something new, to be able to prove your conclusion.


    I don't know the root of the problem. Maybe SJ kids just like to be told what exactly to do and get set off to do it? I don't know at all, but it produced a very bad experience for me personally.
     
  20. Norton

    Norton XXXX

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Threads:
    0
    Messages:
    1,527
    Likes Received:
    524
    Trophy Points:
    667
    MBTI:
    XXXX
    Enneagram:
    XXXX
    I agree. I think that a course on critical thinking should be incorporated into all high school and college curricula. It would include the concept of proof, scientific method, logic and the analysis and critique of scientific experiments. Also, it would teach the meaning of statistics and stochastic processes to help people better understand and make informed choices about politics, policy, and economics. I would also include critical reading and analysis of academic/scientific publications. Skeptical citizens adept in critical thinking are vital to a democracy.
     
Loading...

Share This Page