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[Op-ed] Misunderstanding of creativity education

Posted June. 23, 2014 03:56,   


Joanne Rowling, the author of Harry Porter, got the idea of "Harry Porter" in a train at a rural train station in 1990. Idea of the book jumped into her mind while she was waiting at the station for the out-of-order train to be fixed for four hours. The idea turned her from a single mom to a billionaire. Korean poet Cho Byeong-hwa said, “I put up a sensitive antenna footed on the reality toward high sky. The ideas for poem hit me like lightening.” Regardless of our positions – whether a person is an artist, a businessman, or a politician, we are now living in an era where everyone has a thirst for "brilliant idea," or creativity since ideas directly lead to money and fame in the present society.

Artists say, “Ideas for masterpiece are dropped from the heaven out of the blue.” That means long-term thinking doesn’t guarantee a great idea. Ms. Rowling created the main character of her story, Harry Porter, while she was idling time away waiting for departure of a train. Likewise, creativity blossoms after having breaks or emptying mind. Psychiatrist Carl Jung had tried scientific analysis on mechanisms of creativity.

Dr. Jung focused on the unconscious. According to his definition, “The personal unconscious in contrast to the conscious is a personal reservoir of experience.” His theory states that the unconscious is eclipsed by the conscious and its hindrance, but the unconscious becomes a source of creativity when mind is relaxed and at ease. Ideas pop up "unexpectedly" or "all of a sudden" because the unconscious exerts its power. The founder of analytical psychology defined “the unconscious as the well-spring of creativity.”

The latest issue in the educational arena of the Korean society is creativity and personality. The Park Geun-hye administration has put up a slogan “Happiness Education” for this purpose, and demands for personality education are on the rise since the Sewol ferry tragedy. However, creativity cannot be earned automatically by taking children out of pressure for study and education. The one thing that the current education activists neglect is the fact that creativity comes when a person puts his mind at ease after acquiring necessary knowledge and having sufficient amount of deliberation and thoughts on the reality. Creativity does not exist alone without such basis and preparation. Cautions shall be paid to avoid abandonment of the basics, not to mention the creativity, through half-baked and reckless educational experiments.