Creativity Vs Academic Study Essay

2095 words - 9 pages

In “We Should Cherish Our Children’s Freedom to Think,” Kie Ho appeals to the growing trend of people in the United States who complain about the quality of the educational system. Ho supports this system and advises his readers to reconsider the characteristic virtues of the US education. He strongly emphasizes how it guarantees and even encourages and supports its students’ freedom, particularly the freedom of self-expression. In general, I would agree with Ho’s view that it’s very important to give children the opportunity to develop their creativity and freethinking. It is important in today's world that our children become creative and critical thinkers with strong values, ...view middle of the document...

Trying to illustrate what he sees as the answer to the above-mentioned question, Ho recounts his personal experience while on an excursion to the Laguna Beach Museum of Art where he saw children building a waterfall out of paper, foil, and yarn. Using this example, the author wants to impress upon his readers evidence on how a public school provides its students with the opportunity to develop creativity. But how can one single school in one specific district be representative of the entire United States’ education system as a whole? Furthermore, the author doesn’t say anything about the specific curricular focus on creativity of this school, and it makes his example more indecisive. In this sense, to have special art classes and projects is essential in educational systems in many other countries; therefore, it doesn’t make the American school system particularly unique or advanced. Hence, Ho is making claims that are strong and sweeping, but he does not really support them.
For readers that are not familiar with the American system of education, Ho’s views on this can make them come to believe that all American public schools are like fairy lands that nurture only future innovators by providing them with all the outlets needed to fulfill their creativity. That this is a misleading point of view can be argued by John Stossel, one of those analysts concerned with the quality of education in the US. In his article “Stupid in America” (2006), Stossel states that American public schools are not as good as 76% of Americans used to think. According to his observation and discussion with different education professionals, Stossel reports that the lack of qualified teachers, who can control discipline and motivate students to learn, and the lack of competitiveness among schools make most of the classrooms far from being inspiring for creativity and freethinking. Stossel gives an example of Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C. that is considered to be one of the best schools in America, but even there he could observe boring, uninspiring classes and wild, rude, disrespectful behavior from the kids who simply are not in school to learn. Nevertheless, Stossel’s paper doesn’t focus only on the negative side of this issue. He gives an example of an alternative charter school in Oakland to show how clever management and staff dedication can make a school go from being among the worst to being the best, and motivate students to actively learn. Hence, opposite to Ho, Stossel gives readers a much more objective and fairer picture of the American public school education system.
Ho’s further line of argumentation is weakened by his subjective and one-sided vantage point. Born and raised in Indonesia himself, Ho describes his own school experience as having been much different from what his son would eventually be provided with after migrating to America. He complains about the Indonesian system of education, which forced him to...

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