The pleasure you can't measure

22nd February 2008 at 00:00

One headline equals a 10-point rise in blood pressure ("Plan to measure creativity", TES, February 15). Why is our Government obsessed with measuring everything? When will it acknowledge that some aspects of our lives cannot be assessed objectively and parcelled into neat little boxes?

Creativity by its very nature is changeable; it is not bound by time; it is new, original, different. To thrive, it needs freedom, time, resources and experiences. But the prescriptive nature of the national curriculum, the new foundation curriculum, and the obsession with testing and measuring, have done such an excellent job of restricting any opportunity for the development of creativity that I had come to assume that creativity was seen as a threat to the status quo of capitalist society, and should be ardently discouraged.

Creativity and our compliance with the current education system are not compatible. How can they be? Real creativity is seen on the streets. It's seen in the subcultures that reject traditional schooling, in the daydreamer who doesn't do their homework; it's most apparent in people who have rejected the norms of society.

Now ministers are further reducing the nanoseconds of opportunity open to children to think and act in a creative way within schools by imposing measurement. On the one hand saying, "We want you to have the opportunity to be creative"; on the other, redefining "creative" to mean "performing functions and demonstrating skills" that we think are creative and, of course, that we can measure.

I am so glad my children have finished compulsory schooling. Unfortunately, I haven't yet, but the time is drawing nearer as I become increasingly disillusioned with the unimaginative, sterile rubbish that emanates from our highest orders.

My advice to new parents - emigrate!

Gill West, Secondary teacher, Witham, Essex.

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