Why Johnny Can't...|
Imagination and Writing
1997 September 03|
Kids have vivid imaginations when they're young. By the time they graduate from high school, most of them can't invent a story. Or do any other task that requires creative, imaginative, non-linear thinking. I don't know how schools manage to train this ability out of kids, but they seem to be good at it.
Reading and writing are going to be the cornerstone of all education for as far into the future as we can see. Most kids learn to read. The number of kids who can write when they graduate from high school is small. Grammar checkers will soon become really useful and kids will then get their grammar from the computer, which will pick up the errors, explain what's wrong, and suggest corrections. The tedious business of learning grammar can probably be dropped soon. It doesn't seem to help much anyway.
There have been some experiments in teaching creative writing to kids. This is an exercise in both logic and imagination which doesn't lead to kids learning to hate writing. We have to stop killing off imagination, and creative writing, if it's fun, can be a good tool.