THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CREATIVE AND ACADEMIC EDUCATION:
Academic education involves the studying of certain subjects which are more analytical. For example, in Zambia the most common academic subjects studied are mathematics, environmental science and Zambian languages. Creative education is a way of teaching children to think independently and to use their imaginations. Subjects that are creative include drama, music and art.
WHAT IS THE ARGUMENT AGAINST CREATIVE EDUCATION?
By spending time on subjects such as music, children will spend less time on the core subjects. Schools often think that this is negative for a child’s learning as academic subjects are usually at the core of the education curriculum.
WHY IS CREATIVE EDUCATION IMPORTANT?
Creativity is freedom of expression. When children learn their academic subjects, they learn a specific way of solving things. With creative subjects there is no ‘right’ way, only the way an individual would like to do something. When a child learns how to act, they are not taught one way of performing. This teaches different ways of seeing the world, rather than the one single way that an academic education provides. It can also increase productivity and efficiency; when a child comes up with an idea, they are more likely to be able to find ways to work around potential barriers and achieve this idea because of learning to think ‘out of the box’.
HOW WILL CREATIVE EDUCATION BENEFIT CHILDREN IN THE FUTURE?
Creative education holds benefits mainly with creative thinking (a way of thinking which is imaginative and independent). This independence is now hugely valued in the modern world. Only 2 percent of schools in Kenya offer art as a subject, and yet eighty-five percent of employers look for creative people to work for them. Investments also create 350,000 jobs a year in Africa. However, because of the lack of creative talent it is difficult to fill these jobs and to keep the economic growth increasing. Therefore by studying creative subjects more children will be taught how to become more creative and will be able to help increase growth.
Creative education is an often overlooked area of education. Many schools believe that academic education is most important, but in today’s world independence and innovation are becoming more and more necessary. Without creative education, we will lack creative thinkers for the future and this is a key area that employers are now looking for. Academic education is still valuable and provides key life skills, but it is important to realise that creative education has similar impacts and provides essential skills that differ to those we gain in our academic studies.