Can the creative modes of educational tools advance minds and the learning experience?

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The rise of fantastic new initiatives by the Egyptian government led by President Abdel Fatah El Sisi has seen innovative and creative new modes of education in the areas of infrastructure with particular emphasis on digital technologies. The government has seen the importance of creative approaches and communication skills in addition to these programs and they are proven to be right.

Campaigns are mainly training programs; over 18 major technology programs nationwide like Rowad Future Technologies, the Africa Presidential Initiative for Innovation and Creative Applications and Games, Madina El Marefa at the New Administrative Capital.

Some of these projects are estimated at over LE 2 billion, with an emphasis on a creative approach to teaching modes to enhance better understanding and sharpen communication skills.

The use of trainers for these specific programs also increased from 4,000 to over 14,000 trainers from 2018 to 2019.

This then poses a very important question. Can creative modes of teaching tools advance minds and the learning experience in other unrelated disciplines?

To answer this question, let’s first explore the idea of ​​creativity, the idea of ​​the arts, and the potential to be seen as having creative abilities.

These problems have always been seen as an extraordinary and vague phenomenon; not clear on what it is to be creative and how to apply it to things like technology, medicine, engineering and law.

In my professional opinion, being a practitioner as a director of film, theater and media theory and practice, the human creative mind is abstract, broad and at the same time distinctive.

The need to harness one’s abilities in any discipline using the principles of creativity depends heavily on self-awareness and a mature attitude; in order to achieve a conscious development in the exploration of ideas.

Education systems today pride themselves on academic capability and a vision for an important future. A hierarchy is put in place to ensure a secure future, with arts-related subjects sadly at the thin end of a structured spectrum: math and science at one end and language, humanities and the arts at l ‘other. The higher you are on this spectrum, the higher the respectability; socially, professionally and economically.

In other words, most children seem to be somewhat discouraged; get away from those creatively stimulating things in school and later as young adults in college.

“All children are artists. The problem is knowing how to remain an artist once he grows up ”. In saying this, Pablo Picasso had to refer to the factors that hinder, slow down and eradicate our initial tendency to move in an abstract, free manner.

What this means is that the desire to try and not be afraid of what other people have to say: even if what they say or do is wrong, it is something that most adults find it extremely difficult to do so. For my part, I was like that, until I discovered the creative process of educating the mind.

Playing out your fantasies and moving on, without thinking about the consequences and outcomes, may seem absurd at first. However, in my 19 years of experience teaching communications / media and film to business and government agencies and at the university level; the results of these problems have been astounding.

When I tackle a project in industry or when I teach, I practice free and creative brainstorming of ideas with participants, organically integrating play and randomness: an interesting process emerges. These then become tangible ideas that build a clearer meaning and big picture towards more organized thoughts that ultimately lead to better results.

The outcome of the final destination is never our starting point.

Initially, it’s a creative and free process, with no restrictions or expectations to be right in your decisions. Expecting it to be right from the start is a limiting theory and in fact leads to problematic consequences; so that not all possibilities have been explored.

But it is precisely this level of spontaneity and adventure that is globally lacking in a global educational program.

If you’ve ever been told not to study music, or to paint or write because you won’t become a musician, novelist, or painter and your work will end up on a lonely park bench with no reader or audience, then you are definitely not alone.

Sir Ken Robinson’s video titled “Does Education Kill Creativity” really reminded me of people I had met who were, to say the least, incredibly talented and who would shine uninhibitedly, but who weren’t. unfortunately not in the right job, according to their abilities; their confidence and original perspectives on ideas were rejected, quite ruthlessly, by systematic limitations.

Sir Ken asks why the emphasis is on literacy as opposed to a natural vocation and why the education system starts teaching children from the waist down, then focuses only on their head and then on one side: the rational left brain versus right brain. creative brain. What about the rest of the body? He asks.

“Academic ability has really dominated our view of intelligence and the consequence is that very talented people think they are not,” Sir Ken.

In all my years as an educator, I can see that education has become in my opinion like a production machine: the results take precedence over the process. As if what you put in it ultimately becomes a commodity; an investment generally, to facilitate the industry.

While leaving behind what could have been; wonderfully interactive minds, dynamic and formidable thinking. Instead, we see a lot of questionable adults not knowing where their talents really could have been.

A study from the University of Alabama, USA by Barton and Cohen “Gender composition in the classroom and relations with peers”, examines what is considered a narrow secular meaning of the word “education” and that future generations will eventually lose their tendency to develop naturally.

The study found that without a creative process, overt aggression was on the increase, which is more demonstrative and physical in boys, while girls demonstrated relationship aggression based on manipulation, bullying and victimization.

These results were linked to the lack of cultural and artistic activities, which according to the study; artistic activities develop positive, emotional and sensitive behaviors through touch and practical experience.

The children in the study appeared to be more spatial, impulsive, and more physical, so they needed to walk around without feeling disruptive. “There are those who have to move to think,” Barton and Cohen.

The results concluded that people’s interactions should be a celebration of the human imagination and rather, the whole being should be educated, not just the rational mind.

“There is an obvious overall poor health of what is provided in education and we need to collectively rethink what exactly we educate our children to do,” Barton and Cohen.

The study also concluded that if we raise our younger generations to be only results-oriented thinkers, without a process of trial and error and rewarding or punishing them only for right or wrong answers. bad, instead of enjoying the growth as it occurs; then, unfortunately, the future of brighter ideas and human relevance in education will simply disappear.

Even in careers like engineering, cyber programming, artificial intelligence coders, and government decision-makers, there would be hope for a more human attitude if a creative process was put in place.

As a result of the creative process, one will learn and adapt important skills like empathy, patience, imagination, appreciation of color and shape, sound and the most important thing; the courage to make mistakes, to learn, to cooperate and to start all over again.

Chance, openness to accidents and serendipity are just small steps on our path to becoming.

I leave you with two quotes to think about and I also commend the Egyptian government for taking the initiative to really focus on this relevant new creative approach.

Perhaps we need to reconsider our education and move towards inclusion of the creative force of growth.

“An artist should never be a prisoner of himself, a prisoner of style, a prisoner of reputation, a prisoner of success”. Henri Matisse “.

Whoever plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least begun to understand the meaning of life ”. “Rabindranath Tagore”.

  • Dr. Hashem is an award-winning Australian-Egyptian international director, media theory / literacy practice educator, researcher and writer, and currently Professor at the American University in Cairo. He has over 19 years of media and communications experience. He studied at the University of Melbourne (Media and Sociology) and Deakin University (Creative Practice / Drama / Storytelling) and is currently undertaking law studies at Central Queensland University as he is interested in the international landscape of media, public policy and legislation. .


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