How much use is imitation over learning? Nowadays imitation from a teacher or textbook is all that seems to matter. You must have the same viewpoint or you are wrong. Why can’t people just accept that there are different viewpoints to many subjects, or different ways to look at problems. Originality is subjective, and maybe that’s why educators don’t want it in our education system: otherwise people won’t end out the same. It would be harder to categorise everyone into skill and ability levels.
Even as I write this post I am aware that I am horrifically unoriginal, and that may just be me, but for an education system to encourage being original, there has to be leniency from the prescribed ‘right’ answer. Exams and key stages are limitting to the development of original thought. Even as I write this now I don’t feel as though I can be original in my writing, I dont know how, I havent learnt how to think for myself. Constantly I am relying on others opinions and ideas to form my own. Is this fair? I don’t believe so.
When a child creates, however useful or not they should be encouraged. Using kolbs learning cycle they should experience a thought or experience, reflect on it , improve and understand it and then try again. This way they are learning and improving rather than giving up when something isn’t ‘right’. This way of learning can give anyone confidence in themselves and can trigger further ideas. If they fail that is okay! Not everything should have to be perfect, but to have ideas for yourself is a skill which is under valued currently.
Imitation in institutes such as Universitys is obviously encouraged as long as referenced properly, but if you have your own ideas, and are original, you may not get the grade you were looking for. Originality is much more subjective and you could receive anything from A-F depending on your grader. Children when they are young are encouraged to be original and use their imagination with tools found in early years classrooms. They find out for themselves and use their imagination, copying is not an option. I once played with children and a box for hours; they made it into a boat, a bed, a house, a prison. It was anything and everything and it helped them understand different concepts. They knew basics and built on them, this is highly related to Kolbs learning cycle.
Imitation can be difficult to remove in the case of assessment as subjective testing is hard to encourage with standard criterias. But shouldnt imagination conquer all? We should help the next generation create, and contintue to create. You can never underestimate the power of using our minds.