Creativity and Formal Skills - Finding a Balance
Can creativity only be achieved at the expense of formal skills? The riters describe important experimental work at Millfield School that involves the use of educational technology to help students to learn skills when they need them.
Recent trends in Craft Education have been towards design studies and creativity. Already, there are the seeds of a revolt against this approach. Results from, and observation of, children, would suggest that a lack of theoretical knowledge and an absence of skills can result from an over emphasis on creativity. Surely, the test of any education should be the application of acquired knowledge to new situations. Many would claim that the creative approach has failed this test. Although the child may solve the problems involved in his project, he will often find this solution has no further application to subsequent work.
And yet, a return to the formal skills teaching methods of yesteryear will not satisfy the educational need of the modem child. Pure joints and filing by 'number' have no real application or appeal in a technological age. Regimentation is not possible in an age which has encouraged critical thinking and individuality. It is unlikely that personal satisfaction will result from a situation where each child is engaged upon the same project. The increased complexity and the diversity of children's toys adds to the demand for the individual project.