Why is Creativity Important?
Creativity plays a central role in all aspects of the Marlborough College School of English and Culture. The lessons that students receive and the activities they take part in have all been designed with the aim of maximising opportunities for students to explore their own creativity and empower them to find their unique voice.
We live in a world with a rapidly changing political, social and environmental landscape. An ability to understand and respond to such changes is a vital skill for the younger generation. Despite this, young people are often offered strict structures within which they are expected to make sense of the nuances and contradictions of the world around us. We hope to remove this rigid approach to education- and to life- and allow our students to take a more creative approach. This provides students with the tools necessary to engage with and take ownership of their learning.
Creativity demands collaboration and through collaboration we learn to respect, tolerate and ultimately work with others more productively. We aim to remove the regurgitation of information and encourage an atmosphere in which there is a clear understanding that we all have something to offer and we all have something to learn. These creative practices recognise that we are all unique and gives rise to the possibility of understanding the world by allowing the uniqueness of the people within it to flourish.
This naturally requires our students to take risks, be that through performing, challenging themselves to try something new or simply defending their own views. Sharing something that is entirely our own is a scary experience for many and, while we may be confident supporting the views and voices of others, it is often when tasked with supporting ourselves that we fall silent. At SEC we help our students find the confidence to do this by creating a safe space within which they can explore the value of creative risk-taking; something which we believe helps them to grow as individuals and provides them with invaluable life skills for the future.
We are not alone in this view; a recent global IBM study of over 1,500 CEOs identified “creativity as the number one leadership competency of the successful enterprise of the future” (source: https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/31670.wss). The success of these creative leaders is attributed to their welcoming of disruptive innovation, the altering of the status quo and their comfort when faced with ambiguity; an extremely prevalent feature of the Business world today. A creative education is often misunderstood as being a purely artistic endeavour, suitable for dancers, actors or musicians. As this study demonstrates, creativity has a value far beyond the creation of art. It is fundamental to our ability to break out from conventional thinking in order to problem-solve, generate ideas and adapt to an increasingly volatile and complex world.
Creativity does not only have positive applications in the Business world. We have found that the openness, tolerance and courage required to think and learn creatively see an enormous improvement in students’ confidence in themselves and in their abilities. Though creativity can be difficult to quantify, the friendships forged through collaboration and the individual pride at having accomplished something that required immense bravery are some of the visible effects.