Creativity Elementary vs Middle & High School

In a meeting today, a group of elementary and high school teachers were asked to list the attributes we looked for in student who were thinking about their learning.

A list of 16 items came up on the board and the one thing lacking was “creativity.”

We discussed why.

“Creativity is not valued by our society,” said one high school teacher.

The elementary school teachers were shocked it was a subject for discussion. Frankly, everything in elementary school is fueled by creativity and fun. In K-5 we can’t demand students do their work. Yelling at a student to finish a worksheet only ends in tears and a meeting with the parent.

Apparently, one can give a boring assignment to middle school and high school students and simply demand they do it and threaten punishment (letter home, referral to principals office) if they don’t comply. “This works?” I’m thinking.

Apparently, in high school, creativity is reserved for GT, International Baccalaureate and other high-end endeavors.

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