DOES IT BOTHER YOU? Projects don’t broaden our horizons anymore


Staff Photo by Lindsey Leitner and Brooke Murphy

Concentrating on simply memorizing information derails from learning information through creativity.

Even though they may seem like distant memories that have drifted into the past, I look back very fondly on my elementary school years. Yes, they were simplistic days filled with recess and games alike. Yes, we had little responsibility we were expected to take on. But most important, it was a monumental time for creative growth. 

In high school, we are rarely given the opportunity to expand our creative palettes and let our minds wander past the curriculum material. Now, arts and crafts projects have been replaced by tedious notes, and our out-of-the box thinking has been reduced to a one track goal: simply getting the work done. When we are given the opportunity to be creative, we are more likely to remember the material at a higher level, and gain a more insightful understanding of the respective topic. The spur in popularity of digital platforms for assignments has brought a lot of potential but it’s really been a major obstacle in our learning processes. There is just something so unique and magical about putting pen to paper … something that typing into a Google Doc has deprived us from experiencing. 

I’ve found that the rare occasions I have been able to utilize these creative techniques throughout my high school years were instances where I have best understood the material. I can still remember each and every lyric to the song I wrote in freshman year biology about chloroplasts, but in all honesty I can’t recall one word of the slideshow I slapped together last week while fighting the urge to fall sleep. It is so frustrating that we are not given more of these outlets across our wide array of subject matters. 

Of course, traditional assessments are essential as a way of measuring the progress of the students within a course. However, in between these tests, a portion of the time devoted to learning the content can easily be set aside for imaginative projects. These are not in substitution of the notes and worksheets, but rather a beneficial addition that is essential for the students to grasp the material.

When we go out into the real world, we are going to find ourselves in situations where we have to partake in hands-on activities that require a flare of creativity. If we continue to be stripped from honing in on these skills now, it will have a negative impact on our growth and development in our future endeavors.

The construction paper filled with colorful lettering and catchy, rhyming songs may seem frivolous – but sometimes the best thing you can do is tap back into your roots – and our roots of creativity were planted at the Kindergarten art tables.