Math Class is Harming Your Creativity

Schools are Affecting the Creativity of Students

Alexia, Staff Writer

Do you ever feel like school makes you less motivated? Well, many researchers have searched for the answer to how schools have affected students. According to researcher Kyung Hee Kim, “Children’s ability to produce ideas (Fluency) increased up to third grade and remained static between fourth and fifth grades, and then continuously decreased…” So, in other words, schools have caused students’ creativity levels to decrease over time.


Schools have stuck to the same system for hundreds of years. This system focuses on core classes such as math, science, social studies, and English language arts. Other classes such as the arts are seen as elective classes that are not as important. But in reality, these classes help stimulate creativity in students. This is true because while in high school, I haven’t had one art class in the 3 years I attended.


Art classes encourage students to design and develop new ideas and bring these ideas to life. According to a blog from National Association for Gifted Children, “Through the arts, children learn the fundamental process of discovering and imagining, originating and problem-solving, thinking and creating.” It is important for schools to focus not only on the core classes but on art classes as well.


Classes such as math teach students that there will only be one answer and in order to get this answer, you must follow a specific formula. This decreases creativity in students because they learn that they are not allowed to make mistakes or else they will get in trouble. This concept stays with children, and they continue to apply it to all the situations they may face later on in life.


I have adopted the idea that you should never make mistakes. In elementary school, my math teacher was very hard on me if I got a problem wrong. This then made me think that I should never make mistakes. I then applied this to my end-of-year project, which was creating a little boat that does a lap around a kiddie pool, but the boat had to be made of recycled materials only. When I tested it out the boat sank. Instead of seeing my mistake as a chance to learn, I saw it as a mistake that should have never happened.


Making mistakes is the key to creativity. According to Art Markman, a professor at the University of Texas, “Many of your initial ideas will be flawed at first. And even if you try hard, an innovative project may fail. Successful innovators learn from their mistakes. You must embrace your errors rather than avoid them.”


Gillian Lynne is a perfect example of how “we must embrace our errors rather than avoiding them.” According to author Sir Ken Robinson, Gillian Lynne was having trouble in school, she would turn in her homework late and disturb people, this resulted in the school writing to her parents that Gillian had a learning disorder. When Gillian visited the specialist because of her learning disorder, the doctor noticed that when the radio was on Gillian was on her feet moving to the music. The doctor told her parents that she did not have a learning disorder she was a dancer. Gillian then attended Royal Ballet School, choreographed some of the most successful musical theater productions in history, and is now a multimillionaire.


When schools face a problem with a student, they believe the source of the problem is the student and not the education system. Students then view themselves as a problem and this causes students to lose sight of their passion. But what children do not know is that their problem is a blessing that does not need to be fixed it just needs to be accommodated.


Schools are harming students by negatively affecting their creativity. Creativity in education is a crucial factor in the future of students. Do you think school has affected your creativity?



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