Singapore students are "exam-smart", but not very creative. How true is this statement?
It is true according to some reports. Three reasons have been given to explain for this.
1. The first is our Confucian culture. “Confucian culture and values uphold respect for the authority and discourage criticism of the others or the status quo. This may impede the efforts to encourage creative and critical thinking among our students and schools.
Professor Lazar Stankov, University of Sydney.
2. The second is the exam driven and teacher-centre assessment culture which inhibits creative and critical thinking from surfacing. Most teachers in Singapore see their responsibility to be preparing students to do well in the examinations and to raise the percentage of passes in the school.
National Institute of Education professors Koh, Tan and Ng.
3. The third reason is large class size, limited physical space, lack of resources, insufficient time to complete the syllabuses, and the readiness of the students, are among the factors that hindered the fostering of creative thinking.
NTU professors Chiam, Hong, Ning & Tay.
Schools do not teach creativity as a subject. “We might find a few art classes, a few "creative writing“ classes and perhaps courses in music; but it's unlikely that we would find courses in imagination, in visualisation, in perceptual or spatial skills, in creativity as a separate subject, in intuition, in inventiveness.
Yet educators value these skills and have apparently hoped that students would develop imagination, perception, and intuition as natural consequences of training in verbal, analytic skills. Betty Edwards, author of the standard textbook in many art schools “Drawing on the Right Side of The Brain”.
Creativity cannot be taught overnight like learning to ride a bicycle. However, it can be nurtured overtime, particularly if we start them young.
We will explore numerous ways to nurture creativity at our forthcoming "Mindfulness & You" Summit. Register early for this complimentary event specially catered for parents like you.