Education: Letter - Future lies in creativity

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The Independent Online
The Independent (12 February) rightly continued with the Save the Arts Campaign, yet elsewhere ("My old man was a dustman. What will my son be?", Education+) had Michael Barber outlining policies on the future of education which not only underpinned this Government's downgrading of creativity, but also its ignorance about the type of education innovation children need.

Anatomically, around a third of human brains contain structures which vary from the norm, with research indicating that such brain types are linked to cognitive differences such as: alternative to the norm learning and a greater tendency to restructure/rearrange ideas and information in ways we call creative. Yet education policies and the national curriculum continue to be based on the assumption that every child learns in the same way.

Michael Barber, head of the Standards and Effectiveness Unit in the Department for Education and Employment, whilst considering education standards needed for the 21st century, places literacy, numeracy and being information- rich ahead of creativity and imagination and doesn't mention social empathy at all.

Yet in the 21st century, computers will be both highly literate and numerate. In addition, they will be more information-rich than any human brain, as only such machines will be able to keep track of the floods of new information being generated world-wide.

We can only educate our children to outreach such machines by emphasising individuality, empathy and innovativity in education.

A set national curriculum, using a set order for assessment, is far too rigid to deliver an effective, adaptive education for the majority; let alone encourage the creative minority to utilise alternate learning techniques.

Michael Newby, Market Rasen

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