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Creativity is Endangered

This week was my first time visiting the school Cedeno Cedeno, a public elementary school in Puerto Jimenez.


The first interaction with the kids was a bit personal. The English professor assigned me to two girls who needed help revising the months of the year. I sat with them in the right corner of the ocean-decorated room. We introduced ourselves and began with the revisions. Throughout the revisions, we cracked a few jokes, I asked them questions about the school, and called them out for fighting over an eraser. By the end of the lesson they managed to learn January through July, but it got tricky for them after July since the pronunciation got a bit difficult.

At the end of the workshop, one of the girls began to show me her drawings. The other girl made fun of her for being 13 years old and still drawing in her notebook. Her comment reminded me of the book I am currently reading “Creative Confidence” (2013) by Tom and David Kelley. The Kelleys mention a quote by Sir Ken Robinson, an education expert said: “Education is the system that’s supposed to develop our natural abilities and enable us to make our way in the world. Instead, it is stifling the individual talents and abilities of too many students and killing their motivation to learn” (Tom and David Kelley, Pg. 56)

Creative confidence should start early, but in many cases it starts when one truly needs it for a job or a task, which is usually around mid age. “At the right age, a single cutting remark is sometimes enough to bring our creative pursuits to a standstill. Fortunately, many of us are resilient enough to try again.” (Pg. 56) If we teach our children to use the basic black and white knowledge they receive infused with their own colors, not only will they enjoy lessons better but will also be more enthusiastic about them.

If we continued to be creative past toddler years, how different would our world be? Many schools in the United States and even in Costa Rica cut out programs like art, music, and theater due to budget cuts. They leave the core classes and deprive students from classes that require personal creativity. The ability to think outside the box requires practice. People are engrained in these invisible borders and lines because that is all they know. No one has pushed them to think of things in different ways.
The girl continued to show me her drawings, and we managed to go through all 7 of her books. I was very intrigued and happy to see her face light up every time she turned the colorful page. By the end of her seventh book the other girl took out her colored pencils, opened her notebook and began to draw.


By Estrella Vargas - Journalism and Media Intern

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