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How to kill child's imagination and creativity

This is sadly a true story from a child in Primary 1 during an English Test Paper. Instead of freedom the imagination of the kids in Singapore, it turns out kids need to have the knowledge of fairy tales,specifically, politically correct fairy tales.

Photo of Carmen Escano
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Quoting the person from her blog:

"So the child was penalized for not knowing her fairy tales, or rather, stories that are in their right structure and order.  Handsome princes can never be turned into snakes by fairy godmothers, and castles should always be beautiful, but cannot be on beautiful green fields...

...Really, I don’t see anything wrong with the answers she provided. There are no grammatical or spelling errors. and the language structure is correct. The teacher must have added a politically correct fairy tale module in her evaluation of these answers, thus, the child will not pass based on her slightly varied take to what is deem as a right representation of sentence structure in fairy tales....

...I assume that the purpose of this question was to get the child to test the child’s ability to; re-arrange the sentence, identify and build sentence parts and probably capitalize sentence beginnings and punctuate statements. This questions were likely meant to test the child’s skills to select the appropriate language structure and become an independent writer. So then, why is the child being penalized for not knowing her fairy tales?

...This, I believe, is just a common example of how conformity is being inculcated in our local education system. Success through education is determined by exam results, which have marking schemes to follow. There is only ONE right answer to every question."


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Photo of Mathieu Chevalier

Thanks Carmen for your post. For me you are getting closer to the problematic we should solve. We should not necessarly focus on how kids can nurrish their creative confidence ... but we should try to understand where and how creative confidence slowly (or quickly) disappear. This is the key point I think. Find this "tipping point" to imagine solutions to avoid it.
For example, we should maybe focus on adults more than kids. We should explore what adults do, and imagine creative solutions to help them having the good attitude towards kids' creative confidence. Do you see what I mean ?

Photo of Carmen Escano

Hi Mathieu, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I know what you mean, and I share the same opinion. I think is worth it to focus on both sides, kids and adults, and I would also add the context. Society also play a big role here, influencing adults and therefore kids...

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