Ken Robinson suggests that considering STEM as the primary function of education is a philosophy that inverts the proper function of schools. He believes that by fostering the arts and creativity we develop students with minds that will have the flexibility to adapt to changing social and technological environments and create innovative solutions to problems that we have not yet encountered.
Gardner also states that one of the most important roles of education is to foster creativity. He states that creative individuals aren’t valued as much as rational students, which is counter-productive to fostering the types of experience and thinking that will be essential in the future.
While schools in my childrens’ district do make an effort to include creative disciplines including the traditional arts and new technology the need to satisfy math and science requirements clearly takes precedence. We do have a magnet school system in our town and it would be interesting to track the students graduating from the schools which have different focuses to see if the data show which results are more productive.
I have used digital media to differentiate lessons as well as foster creative thinking. We have recently created storyboards using an online program, which allowed the students to use visual representations of some of the narrative point of Macbeth. In many cases using digital technology to create their own representation of events helped my students gain a deeper understanding of the narrative and the interconnected ideas relating to the story in our own society and personal lives.
By visualizing concepts and elaborating information in different formats like drawings, videos, photos, audio and other media students can stimulate multiple areas of their brain. This fosters deeper learning and stilmulates long-term memory of content.
Gardner, H. (2008). 5 Minds for the Future. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.
Robinson, K. (2006, February). Do schools kill creativity? Retrieved from