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 The Function of Schools - Teaching Subjects or Creativity? 
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Which one is more important in education?

To have everyone be able to understand the basic content from, English, Math, Science, History, Music and Art so that we can live in an educated democracy?

OR

To encourage creativity in students so that we have citizens who are able to mold, reform and recreate society? (Assuming that we don't have time for both.)

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Christopher M. McKinney


Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:52 pm
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I think that teaching creativity is important in a classroom so that each student has room to interpret ideas and concepts in their own way and put their own spin on it. This allows for several ideas to be presented and it can open other students' eyes to new thoughts and help develop their growth as students.

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Sarah Elizabeth Horne


Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:16 pm
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I think that as teachers we should try to convey the basics in the most creative ways possible. We need to be able to do both successfully not one or the other. Encouraging creativity while teaching basic concepts is a skill that needs to be honed in the classroom and used on a daily basis.

If we want our students to be more creative, we have to show them how by becoming more creative first. They will model what we do more than what we say. If we can find a way to marry our lessons with creative new ideas then we will have a creative and exciting classroom. 8)

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Shannon Wilson


Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:25 pm
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I agree with Sarah and Shannon! Creativity was barely incorporated into the classroom when I was in high school. The one project that I felt was the most creative in high school was in 12th grade. My teacher told us to write our own version of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. The project enable students to incorporate and interpret the actual story, and it also made us think of our own story we needed to tell.

Personally, I believe that we (as teachers) must be creative, in order to show our students how to create. Whether you are teaching at the elementary level or the high school level, we need to show students how to draw an apple or compose a poem. After showing them the basic concepts, teachers need to show students how to put life back into his or her work. Facts are the root of a good education but, heart and thought empowers growth.

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Ericka Griffin


Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:24 pm
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Although it is important for students to learn basic facts and information in schools to build up their intelligence levels, I feel that creativity is the more important way of teaching here. If creativity is absent in the classroom, students will most likely become bored with the content material they are learning, and thus may even lose focus or interest in learning at all.

Secondly, teachers are responsible for helping their students figure out who they are in life. By using creative methods in their classrooms, students are able to explore a broad range of skills they probably never knew they had. Students are also much more interested in creative lessons because they are able to connect more easily with their peers and teachers. Creativity allows students to expand and broaden their minds, which is what school and teaching is all about!! :D


Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:30 am
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I agree that teaching creatively is the way to go in the classroom. We all remember those boring teachers who only taught to the basics and would not allow, or encourage, students to think creatively and outside the box. I think it is crucial to be able to think for oneself, I believe that it can make a person more intelligent to be able to think in an abstract manor.

With that being said it is crucial to be taught the basics. They should be taught in a creative manor to make them more effective. Being taught to think and know "both ways" will make for a more intelligent individual, in my opinion.

I am scared that it is going to be difficult to live up to my ideals about how I want my classroom to work! I know what I want to do but how to do it is more challenging! I am open to ideas!

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Emily.V.Wells


Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:47 pm
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I think that they are both equally important. We need to be able to teach crativity and individuality as well as teach the students music, art, math, english, science etc.. Its important to have them think for oneself but then again, most students dont know how to yet. Most students are not old enough to make their own decisions so it is our duty to teach both creativity as well as book smarts.

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Jennifer MacNeill


Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:25 pm
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Looking at such teaching techniques as Bloom Taxonomy we understand that the lowest level of teaching is giving out basic information for them to memorize without analyzing or using such information. There is a teaching learners triangle that states only 10% of students will remember something that is read to them and at most 20% of students will remember something they see. However, by experiencing, 80% of students will remember. I understand that I'm just giving out what appears to be random percentages but the fact of the matter is students learn more by applying. I am a Theatre Education major so I find creativity extremely important for the students. There are numerous ways to apply this within a lesson; for example, if the students are studying a specific time in history, have them write and perform a short scene that applies to said subject. By having the students use their creativity,imagination, and themselves they will obtain the information more so than writing it down or reading it in the book. Creativity is the key for basic information to be learned. Without creativity many of the students will base their knowledge solely on the test rather than applying it further in their lives.

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Caitlin Cashman


Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:33 pm
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I think that they are both important, and I think that a good teacher will be able to achieve both. It is all a matter of managing time. I do think that a student’s creativity should be given the proper tools to thrive.

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Jessica Layne Caldwell


Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:06 pm
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They are both important. I feel like teaching the basics is what is going to get you recognition from your administrators and fellow teachers....but the creativity in the classroom is what is going to make you a more popular teacher among students. Face it, we have to teach the basics. I agree with what has been said that it is important to teach the basics with a creative twist. I know when I look back to high school, I learned a lot more about the "basics" when taught with creativity. If we can do both....I feel like the students will learn a lot more...and not just memorize facts.

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Rebecca Mccollum


Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:09 pm
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Creativity is clearly the main focus that everyone wants to teach with. To teach students to be creative would certainly begin to benefit society as a whole by producing a generation of free independent thinkers who would prevent our country from becoming stagnant in growth and development. However, We are assuming there is not time for both the basics and creativity with this post. My argument is that if a student does not know the basic lowest level of knowledge such as how to read, write, and solve mathematic equations, then how can we teach creativity? If we put words in front of students who are learning to read and ask them to create sounds and meanings of those words, then we will be failing in our job as teachers in trying to teach them how to read and write. For instance, to a non-reader the word "ate" may be interpreted as the number "8" or even "80" if sounded phonetically. Clearly that would cause many communication problems later on in life for this child if they were not taught the basics first. I do agree with people that creativity is important, but we need to teach basic standards before teaching students creativity so as to insure that our students can communicate and function to a certain standard so that their creative ideas will be taken seriously and not as the fantasies of an uneducated individual.

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Do you not know that in a race all the runners run but only one wins the prize? Run in such a way as to win the prize.


Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:47 pm
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I feel like both categories are important, as well. I am a math major and of course feel like it is very important for students to understand math and numbers. I can honestly say that I don't know why we teach things like functions and sequences in math because, really, who cares? What is important in math consists of using the numbers for your benefit. Those benefits can be balancing a checkbook, accounting, taxes, gas mileage, etc. I don't think we teach those things so that we can live in an educated democracy, I think we teach them so that we know how to function in whatever kind of life we are living. I don't see why we can't incorporate creativity into those other subjects. Why can I not plan my lesson around a creative math experiment? That way we DO have time for both.

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Amy Harrelson


Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:33 pm
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I believe that a teacher should be able to teach their subject. I also believe that it is more benefical if teachers can teach their subject in the most creative way possible. Being a part of secondary education, I think a high school teacher's job also includes preparing their students to enter college or the work place, being thier for their students on top of teaching their subject in the most creative way possible.

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Dustin King


Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:33 pm
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I agree with the idea that both should be taught. I know that Chris has put in the thought of (assuming we don't have time for both) but I think that if you are a good teacher then you can teach your students the basics in a very creative way. In fact I that that is what a lesson plan is. At least for Elementary Education majors. Small children have very short attention spans and in order to just keep their attention you have to present the lesson in a very creative way or else the children become bored and you wind up with behavioral problems.

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Kathleen Dahl


Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:14 pm
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That is true Kathleen. I believe that middle and high school students are the same way, though. Even though we feel like they have grown up and are able to hold their attention in one place for long periods of time, they are really just like elementary students. I believe that all students, no matter what age, can benefit from creative lessons.

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Amy Harrelson


Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:26 pm
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I feel we should "encourage creativity in students so that we have citizens who are able to mold, reform and recreate society."

I believe that through teaching this way, students will be more interested in investgating and leaning other things on their own, such as the basic topics in the first option. Im not saying they can do it on their own, but with the focus on creativity students will begin to ask questions about other subjects that allows us as teachers to teach both options.

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Matthew Dowell


Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:36 am
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Both! It will be hard to teach our students both how to understand the basics of "core" curriculum as well as help spark that creativity in them to think for themselves. I'm not sure yet how to go about doing this but I will learn and try to do both as I go student teach and move on to teaching. I think who ever has the answer to that question should write a book and make a lot of money.

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Patrick Watkins


Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:16 am
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