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.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now