A new paradigm to Creative Arts Education

Creative Art or creative and cultural Art as it is now being called is a subject greeted with much
adore by students/pupils the world over. This strong enthusiasm towards the subject is however
not shared by the general Nigerian society. The social climate in the country is for the most part,
inartistic; that is, underdeveloped and unaligned with the arts in terms quality of mindfulness,
aptitude and attitude. Growing up in such a climate often breeds inartistic people who are
underdeveloped and unaligned mentally. This state of underdevelopment is almost the universal
state of being of both individuals and collectives in our society, our schools being no exception.
As a consequence, the general behavior towards the arts is often weak, hesitant, distorted,
unbalanced, unhealthy or even dangerous considering our environment and our need for artistic
expressions. It therefore comes as no surprise that these negative traits are reflected by students
towards arts and creativity. This increases the difficulty of teaching arts as the individuals who
turn up for art classes are all too often damaged goods, damaged by their upbringing.

Again, the stock and trade of schools and their teachers are data acquisition and controlled
rational reasoning. These two objectives are also the basis of our curriculum design and
pedagogy. Granted, rational reasoning, and data acquisition are extremely powerful strategies
for creating informed and often clever minds which is the ultimate goals of some educational
models. However, driving behavioral change and innovation requires a lot more than acquiring
data. Creativity in the form of conscious deviation must also come to play. This in truth is the
missing ingredient in most educational models of today’s Nigeria. It is very pathetic to observe
that creative art in most schools is taught on a chalkboard. What is necessarily creative and art
about chalkboard learning is very unclear. The need for creative learning in the arts is clearly
expressed in the in the words “Creative Art”. It must be understood that there is nothing ‘Art’ in he
absence of creativity. This simple fact must be taught in content, style and approach to creative
art learners.

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