Why is creativity not taught in schools?

Creativity thrives in intellectually messy environments, where tasks are authentic and ill defined, where students make decisions about what and how they learn, and where they collaborate with peers and others inside and outside the classroom. In these environments, risk-taking is encouraged, and the consequences for taking chances and failing are minimized. Students need to know that their teacher and peers value creative endeavors, and they also need to learn specific skills that will help them be more creative. Students need to develop self-direction by self-assessing their creativity with checklists and rubrics. Creativity has to be the focus in the classroom and resources need to be place to support creative thinking.  The three fundamental requirements to accomplish this are

1. Curriculum specifically designed to improve creativity as developed by CATS LC

2. Small class sizes – so that student and faculty can engage in discussion and look at various ways to arrive at the solution. CATS LC faculty to student ration is never greater than 15:1

3. Assessment and reward tools specifically developed so that they encourage creativity

The Pune school system is renowned all over India.  We have a heritage to produce the most learned minds that have been given excellent knowledge and taught various means to retain this knowledge. CATS LC acknowledges this heritage and is proud of it.

As a matter of fact globally creative skills development in the education system is on the rise. Over 76.5% of the universities have specific creativity courses and over 300 creativity specific education programs have been developed for schools. CATS LC curriculum is developed to complement the current school system.

How can parents help?

Parents are the biggest influences on children growing up. Creativity thrives in children who are allowed to grow in an environment that supports divergent thinking. Below are some recommendations of things you can do. If you would like to discuss some of the way you can implement these please contact us.

Value creativity at home

Not surprisingly, a child values what a parent values. Homes that appreciate conventional success more than self-expression hinder creativity. Parents must first see creativity as valuable. These can be reflected in the choices you make. Hang art on the walls, attend plays, read fiction, and watch innovative shows on TV. Children pick up on the values of the family.

Another way to value creativity is to model it. Everyday creativity can be as simple as rearranging furniture or having new ideas for dinner or vacations. Make creativity accessible for your child: if your child enjoys drawing, leave art supplies around. By modeling new ideas and perspectives, children learn how to think and behave creatively.

Encourage self-expression and autonomy

Give your kids opportunities to be self-expressive, autonomous, and original. They will learn these skills at CATS LC, however if you encourage these behaviors at home, they are more likely to make it a part of their everyday life.

·   Let them generate their own ideas and explanations for things. This helps nurture self-expression, which is a key part of learning to take more intellectual risks

·   Simple activities indoors and outdoors can help too. For instance, let children explore what the naked eye can’t see by using a magnifying glass throughout the home.

·   Promote unstructured playtime outdoors. Studies show exposure to nature boosts creativity and exploration

Reward creative behavior

Reward creative behavior and original self-expression in your child. Rewards do not have to be material. Instead, use reward as an opportunity to bond with your child. For instance, spend 15 or 20 minutes reading their favorite book to them, or playing together with their favorite toy.

If you choose to reward your child with a small treat, do it within reason. When your child is intrinsically motivated to be creative, rewards can be a distraction. They can cause a child to easily forget they were doing something because they enjoyed it.

Encourage mistakes and be playful

Remind your child it is OK to make mistakes. Encourage them to explore, play around, and make those mistakes. This fosters the love of discovery.

How will I know if student is improving?

Assessment is an important part of the curriculum. When students enroll in the regular CATS club we encourage parents to enroll students to take the creativity skills assessment. This will be for baseline. This can be administered again after participating in CATS LC for six months to see improvement. Please note at CATS LC: praise and assessment of the students is reviewed in the light of their impact on creativity. Assessment is viewed as a tool for improvement rather than judgment. These tests are administered in a non-intimidating and creative friendly atmosphere.

How often should I change my child’s clubs?

At CATS LC we believe that students should be treated as individuals and every individual needs differ. Please contact us to discuss you child’s specific needs