E. Trivizas: “We fill the children with knowledge and let their imagination starve”
Summer is almost over and the new school year is just a few days away! The children prepare their new school things, their bag, and always keep all their summer experiences and toys to share with their friends!
But how much will the school enhance or reduce all this appetite that children have for creativity, imagination and the acquisition of essential knowledge and not just numbers and memorization. What is Mr. Trivizas’ opinion on the role of the school in the real education of the children?
The blackboard will be adorned with white numbers and the notebooks with redheads that strongly point out mistakes or carelessness. The creativity and imagination of our little ones, who we were so proud of, will be squeezed behind the textbooks and if, sometimes, he dares to look at the teacher, maybe he will be punished in the corner.
Eugenios Trivizas’ speech at TEDxAthens a few years ago comes in a sterile and hard time to remind us that our education is lagging behind. The schools are anxious to get the material defined by the Ministry. Education, while parents run all day in extracurricular activities to equip children with supplies that will turn them into good and prudent professionals.
Prudence, obedience and faithful application to the norms and the trampled, are considered characteristics that nowadays are valued and paid. However, we forget something very important: those who changed the world for the better, did so with imagination, creativity and the ability to think outside the box! And as E. Trivizas tells us, “Imagination, that is, the ability to conceive ideas in our minds beyond empirical reality, is directly related to technological progress, scientific thought, and economic development.”
Education must cultivate the imagination
“The aim of education should not be so much the transmission of knowledge as the cultivation of the child’s creativity and imagination” points out the renowned author and identifies the need of the modern age to focus more on the cultivation of mind and spirit and less on simple and pure transmission knowledge and information:
“Encouraging creativity and cultivating the imagination is one of the most neglected aspects of modern education systems.
The children enter the school endowed with rich imagination and graduate with atrophic or strangled fantasies. I see it in the schools I visit. You see the small children full of imagination, after a while you see them moving like pawns, like robots! ” while at another point he emphasizes that “In science, we must imagine more and more, more and more boldly.”
The importance of imagination in a child
“Imagination is the first to be mapped, the uncharted waters. In our imagination, the most daring journeys take place first! ” tells us the children’s favorite author. Today, however, instead of giving it its rightful place, we are undermining and degrading it. Children who, while they are old enough, use their imagination a lot are considered immature or even problematic. The typical study “Break Point and Beyond” with the staples proves that, gradually, instead of utilizing the bright mind of children, we are rather destroying it.
«Break Point and Beyond»
“In a study called ‘Break Point and Beyond,'” E. Trivizas tells us, “researchers presented the results of a study on creative thinking and measuring it using clips. The question about staples was very simple: “What can a staple be useful for?”
Most adults manage to think of a maximum of 10-15 uses. If one lists more than 145-200 uses of the clip, it is considered genius. The research was timeless. They evaluated the same people at different stages of their lives. At the age of five the percentage of children who scored at the highest level for over 145 uses of the clip was 98%. At the age of 8-10 the percentage decreased to 50% and so on, until we grow up where the only use one can think of for a paper clip is to connect papers together “.
Do we have to change direction?
There are many discussions about Greek schools in Greece. Unfortunately, however, education follows a comprehensive system that focuses mainly on professional specialization and job competence. Many times, as a student, I felt that what I read and learn has nothing to do with real knowledge but answers the question “how will I make money when I grow up”.
In a socio-economic context, then, that prepares good workers and not creative and conscientious citizens, the imagination may have no place. However, it exists and is visible to young children!
And if we want a better world, it’s best not to deprive them of it!
And if we do not want to deprive them of it, it would be good to read them fairy tales and books, to talk to them and let them think and express themselves freely and loudly!
See the whole speech of Eugenios Trivizas at TEDxAthens:
Source: διαφορετικό by www.diaforetiko.gr.
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