“The industrial school kills creativity.” This lapidary phrase is attributed to one of the world’s leading experts on education, Sir Ken Robinson, author of the bestsellers“The element. Discovering your passion changes everything” and “Creative schools. The revolution that is transforming education” At Terra we completely agree with this statement. And through this story by Helen Buckley we explain why.
“Once upon a time there was a little boy who was in creative drawing class. The teacher informed them that it was time to paint and the boy was very happy. He picked up his coloured case and began to draw the first lines of what was to be a car with blue and pink wings. His imagination seemed limitless. “Wait a minute!” said the teacher. The boy suddenly left the colours on his table. «I have not yet said what we are going to paint. Today we are going to draw flowers », he added. The boy then began to draw a rainbow-coloured rocket-shaped flower. But the teacher interrupted him again, saying: «Wait! I have not yet said what kind of flower we are going to paint.»
The boy left the colours on his desk and watched as the teacher drew a red flower with a green stem on the blackboard. The boy took another blank sheet and began to copy the flower painted by the teacher: red and with a green stem… The years went by and the boy was learning in each class to wait, obey and imitate, doing things following the method that their different teachers taught them. Without being aware of it, each one of these adults was doing with their students the same thing that their teachers had done with them in their day.
Eventually, the boy and his family moved to another city, and the boy went to a new school. And during her first day of class, the teacher asked her students what they wanted to do, to which they replied that they wanted to draw. “Great!” exclaimed the teacher. While the rest of the boys used their creativity to draw whatever they could think of, the new boy stood still, waiting for the teacher to tell him what to draw and how to do it. But she didn’t say anything; she was limited to walking around the classroom, observing with curiosity and admiration the creations of her students.
Suddenly, he realized that the new student was still not touching his coloured pencil case. “How come you don’t draw anything?” he asked. And the boy, surprised, replied: “I’m waiting for you to tell me what I have to draw.” To which the teacher said: “Whatever you want.” The boy’s jaw dropped. Such freedom was not expected to be possible in a school. However, he remained still. “What happen? Are you okay?” asked the teacher. «Yes, it is that nothing occurs to me.» The teacher, surprised, tried to motivate him by telling him. “Let’s see, what do you like the most?” The boy, uncomfortable, told him: “I don’t know, really.” And this one, with great delicacy, insisted: «Draw what excites you and amuses you. What do you say? What do you feel like drawing?»
And the boy, incredulous, replied: “I don’t know… A flower?” And the teacher, full of enthusiasm, replied: «What a good idea! Let’s see, how do you imagine that flower in your head? You can draw it in the way you want and in the colour or colours that you prefer the most!» And the boy, with a special sparkle in his eyes, asked him: “In the shape and colour that I want?” And the teacher, nodding, said tenderly: “Of course!” Next, the boy took a couple of colours and began to paint a red flower with a green stem.”