Friday, March 7, 2014
On creativity in education
A funny thing happened after I posted about not having a chance to write creatively under the guidance of our professors. Sure, I know all about the writing process: brainstorming, drafting, editing and rewriting, but what about character development? And plot? How am I supposed to teach students to love writing if all they do is write facts? Sure, I'm well prepared to teach them to really examine other people's work, but that's like expecting them to love vegetables when all I ever serve is cake.
So, I found myself face to face with the Dean of Education at an awards ceremony. After she gave us our pins, she kept asking over and over if we have any burning questions for her. Everyone was so quiet and the conversation was spotty, so the fourth time she brought it up I finally asked her, "Where's the creative writing in our program?" I told her I need something more than just my own experience (which is nil) in writing to teach kids to write well. If they learn to love writing, they will love reading even more.
As expected, she brought up the new guidelines for education which are heavy on the facts. Then she surprised me by saying she really didn't know why creative writing instruction was skipped over and that she would bring it up to the faculty. So there you have it. I'm not just full of hot air, I actually did something about it. I didn't solve my own problem, but maybe, just maybe, some future students in Bozeman will be taught by experts how it's done.