Creativity as a Proper Aim of Education

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To regard creativity as a proper aim of education has significant meaning for society as well as for the individual. Certainly, the creative mind is best qualified to handle the kinds of rapidly changing problems which society faces today. If the creative mind does function in terms of flexibility, openness, capacity to accommodate conflicts and ambiguities, fearfulness of the unknown and an ability to integrate disparate elements, then it seems crucially important that we begin to stress a form of education which encourages the growth of creative personalities (Hallman cited in Bartolome, 1990).

The academic scholar clearly recognizes the urgency of this need. Guilford (1959) notes that it is not merely the coming of the space age and its technology which has [produced the upsurge of interest in creativity but rather the social implications of these advances. Indeed he believes that the survival of our way of life is at stake.

Carl Rogers (1959) says, “I maintain that there is a disparate social need for the creative behavior of creative individuals”. He related the serious deficiencies in our culture to its dearth of creativity; he condemns conformity on education, the passivity and regimentation of leisure time activities, the absence of creative enjoyments in industry and the technical level of much of our science.

Researchers have found that creative thinking can contribute importantly to the acquisition of information and educational skills (Thomson 1977, Lindgren 1983, McConnel 1986, Getzel & Jackson 1962). It is pointed out that non-intellective factors like creativity and personality factors are important to academic success among gifted youths. Smith and Wetzler (1964) emphasized the need for studies on the gifted primarily because of their creative abilities as potential leaders. There seems to be an underlying relationship between these factors: giftedness based on intelligence, sociodemographic variables, creativity and some personality correlates (Bartolme et al 1985, Emma 1967).

Schools should encourage creativity through providing a non-threatening atmosphere utilizing creative classroom procedures and teaching creative processes. Writing helps to “train imagination” (Osborne 1963) for the great number of unknowns in both creative and practical writing tasks provide ample opportunities for creative thinking techniques in their writing. Teachers can develop student’s creativity in a direct way. Employing brainstorming, attribute listing, morphological synthesis and synectics methods in the writing process develop creativity in students by giving them practice in creative problem solving, a skill needed for resolving the complex problems that our students will face in the future.

An immediate need/concern today is an effort to identify the creative Filipino child. Our educational system has yet to formulate a program that can fully develop the possibilities that can be derived from identifying the creative. There have been studies wherein the creative can be identified (e.q. de Jesus 1965, Emma 1967) but these have not shown how to develop this potential. It will probably take more effort for psychologists and educators to formulate the type of learning that will enhance creativity. Within this approach, an area of concern has emerged emphasizing the possible use of personality factors as criteria for creativity (Golam 963, Taylor 1978, Godale in Klein 1983).

Since creativity can underline progress in any field of human endeavor, the current awakening of interest and the recent outburst of research on creativity promise new developments on many fronts. There is a great potential for long term gains from comparatively small investment of funds and manpower centered on the problem of identifying and nurturing creative talent. In the future, our nation cannot depend on sheer quantity of manpower but must strive to find high quality personnel especially creative persons to deal with its vital problems.

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