What should be the role of creativity in education? What are the skills that education should promote?
At the beginning of Interstellar there is a scene in which the hero, the father of two children, takes part in a school council meeting at which the abilities of his eldest son to go to university are being assessed. The film is set in a future with limited resources for education and transports us to a time when young people are directed toward their academic and educational future strictly on the basis of the current needs of the economy, which is in a critical state. Today the future of children and young people cannot be seen in such a radical way. However, as Ken Robinson, an expert on developing creativity, points out, we have a global educational system which is still subject to the goal of churning out workers for an industrial society. The matter is we no longer live in a society like that. The technological advances of the last 30 years have placed the western world in a service economy and not a production economy. Nevertheless, does the current educational system prepare children to form part of an assembly line or to invent, create and innovate?
In this new context, Richard Gerver, a professor and world renowned expert in education, stresses the value of education in the experience of the child and not in its results. He advocates for an educational system that motivates children, attempting to generate their interest by seeking elements that turn out to be attractive to them in order to stimulate their willingness to learn. As a fictional product, Interstellar did not take the theories of physics and science on which the story is based seriously enough. It has received several critiques from the standpoint of physics that it is not strict enough and for sacrificing scientific truths to make the script more attractive. However, it is well worth pointing out the impact the movie has had on some students, arousing their interest in science or enhancing an already existing interest in it. Google has set up a team with the film's creators to schedule a series of classes on the kind of scientific phenomena dealt with by the movie. The idea is none other than to use the science depicted in the film to encourage creative experiences where some kind of learning takes place. As Gerver affirms, dropping out of school or academic failure are largely due to the fact that young students do not have any interest or passion in what they are taught in class, just data and results. What would happen if we placed the emphasis in education on seeking responses and not on answers in themselves?
As Eduard Punset reminds us in one of the episodes of his TV program Redes, writing began to convey part of human knowledge from the very moment it appeared and is today the method for transmitting such knowledge. From formerly conveying knowledge from one person to another through experience we have moved on to the school environment, where a series of subjects deemed useful are taught in a linear process. These are separated into several blocks, two of which are highly differentiated, namely science and the humanities or arts. This separation associates rationality with science and emotions with the arts, a separation which is as unfair as it is fruitless. Creativity is associated with artistic matters and with the mere expression of emotions or a personal viewpoint. It would be good to turn the notion of creativity on its head to understand that it is an ability that can be found in all human beings and not an elitist talent destined to just a few. Perhaps an educational system's role should be to seek ways in which each child can recognize his or her own abilities, which he or she feels more comfortable with, and to foster those aptitudes right from the start through the vehicle with which the child feels more at home.
It is possible that there is a highly valuable educational goal which education could be aimed at and it lies in conceiving creativity as knowing how to use knowledge.