A case for creative expression

People should value and incorporate creative expression in their daily lives.  

I believe I first encountered this commonplace when I was quite young – most likely when I was first encouraged to draw, paint, or create with my hands to pass time and keep me engaged. I remember this was around the time I entered preschool, but I can’t definitively say that I, like many other young toddlers, were led to just color without much thought or creative direction before then. For the most part, I think being encouraged by educators and our public schools to engage in art class, to color, draw, create from a young age has helped subconsciously shaped my thinking that we can and should engage in some sort of artistic or creative expression on a daily basis (or as often as we can manage). I remember we had art class once a week, but every day in class, we were making something with either paper, tape, and our hands or were scribbling with crayons on a blank sheet of paper. Back then, it was part of our routine. Learning was made creative, playing was too, and I highly enjoyed it. I enjoyed it because I was able to concretely understand what we were learning and because it was simply engaging and exciting. Over time however, we eventually were led away from learning math with stackable cubes and instead led to believe that we were to learn more “analytically” and “efficiently” with memorization charts. Thus, I think for a little bit, I didn’t think it was necessary to be creative at school, but I eventually found that to be untrue. Although there is a time and place for more analytical learning, there is also such for creative expression.

In regard to how this commonplace shapes my worldview, I think due to the fact that I am a student, it has impacted the way I view learning and teaching the most. I believe that learning should be enjoyable and that whatever is being taught should be understood, not just applied. Thus, I try to find ways to find my own learning more engaging and personable to me (even if it’s just adding my own diagrams or writing out my notes by hand). Although the degree to which this applies to each individual may vary, I believe being more creative on a daily basis – which includes all expressions of art – gives us just that much more joy. Thus, creative expression should not only be prioritized, but it should be applied in our daily lives.  

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