According to the World Economic Forum, Creativity features as one of the top five ‘core work-related cognitive skills ‘ that are likely to be the highest expected skills in the year 2020 and the following years.
Therefore, in contrast to what was previously assumed, creativity is no longer considered the forte of artists, musicians, dramatists, and other traditional creative arts. It is now, more than ever, deemed an important skill to acquire even in technical fields such as robotics, biotechnology, data, etc.
Creative arts comprise art forms like music, painting, theater, story-telling, dance, etc. All these art forms are treasures that remain unlocked to date. Even if they are explored, it’s only by skilled or trained artists and enthusiasts.
One needs to rethink the mindset that only students with an impressive skill set can access them fruitfully. Moreover, creative arts also act as a source of learning many life skills that require no formal training or perfection as such. Hence, creative arts are not just coveted talents to have but are also tools to foster growth in various other fields.
Much has been said and done about sharpening and refining students’ cognitive and logical abilities: endless exams, drilling sessions, abacus classes, etc. What about the brain’s faculties, and the spirit’s instincts that call for imagination, adventure, inventiveness, and creation?Does an art class once a week or a drama performance once a year fulfill this requirement? Possibly not.
In most cases, academic curriculums across schools and colleges starkly distinguish creativity from learning. This superficial differentiation hampers the holistic development of students, and also the process misses out on exploring the benefits of the interaction between creativity and the learning process.
The primary step towards discovering the possibilities and benefits that creative arts can have in students’ daily lives is quite simple. It is, understanding the meaning of ‘holistic development of a human being’ in the first place. Once educators start looking beyond curriculum-related targets and academic scores, they can extract the maximum from creative arts.
Let’s look into how creative arts can help in enhancing skills that contribute to the overall development of students.
The best way to improve communication skills is to communicate more frequently! It may sound simple but is profound. For effective communication, the primary requirement is to create enough opportunities for students to interact with each other freely. These opportunities should be in a guided scenario to maintain direction and to enable free expression.For instance, in a well-directed drama, a lot of collaborative processes are encouraged.
Such activities not only help the students in intermingling but also make them more confident in expressing themselves in a group. During preparations and performances, students practically learn about the impact of effective communication. More than instructional methods, it is these -learning by doing- processes that help in making them understand the significance of sharp communication skills. All such learnings are essential for the overall development of communicative abilities.
Whether there is a drawing to make, a play to perform, or a musical composition to get right, all of these require problem-solving skills. Along the way, students grasp spatial coordination, visual skills, analytical skills, and much more. Two factors make creative arts a highly appealing medium to enhance problem-solving abilities: First is a sense of independence, in other words, the uniqueness of thought, application, and understanding, and the second is the availability of alternatives.
While independence allows a person to become the sole accreditor of the output, the choice of alternatives to create a piece is so vast that it fosters experimentation. The near absence of predefined formulas to do anything adds adventure to the process. To achieve the best outcome, the student takes responsibility from the first step itself for both the right and the wrong judgments he/she makes. Thus, the problem propels the problem-solver to function efficiently.
Perhaps the most exceptional attribute that creative arts hand out to all those who explore them for better and bigger learning is self-awareness. Naturally, the infusion of creativity with learning enabled through music, art, story-telling-drama, poetry, etc. respects the existence of differences in students’ abilities.
There is no standardized parameter that dismisses individuality. Hence, by indulging in creative arts, students can discover their potential, tendencies, talents, skills, and uniqueness. Such a process of discovery not only relaxes the students from struggling to meet fixed standards but also helps them set their own. It also armors students with self-confidence and motivation.
All told, creativity has grown in its applicability from only being an artistic skill to becoming an artistic approach towards achieving versatile targets. Educators can help the students develop these skills that can potentially become an asset and boost their confidence. Thoughtful incorporation of creative arts in students’ learning process is a path towards progressive education.