Schools are institutions that are set up with the aim of impacting students with knowledge. This being the primary focus of most education systems, generating new knowledge through creativity becomes secondary to most scholars. This leads to the question of which, between knowledge and creativity, is more important? This question is more relevant to students in higher institutions of learning since this level of learning is developed enough to generate creative thinking, in addition to impacting students with knowledge.
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As such, a college student should ponder on this question, considering that such a student is almost ready for the job market. As a college student, creativity is more important than knowledge since creativity allows one to explore ideas with no boundaries, it gives birth to innovation, and it provides room for developing practical solutions to real life challenges, unlike knowledge which is limited to one’s expertise and experience.
While knowledge is limited to one’s skills, creativity has no boundaries since it goes as far as one’s imagination can reach. Knowledge hardly goes beyond one’s training or experience in a certain field, whereas creativity/imagination follows intuition and transcends one’s acquired skills (Ox and van der Elst 84).
Creative minds do not necessarily focus on achieving good grades in school. This is because good grades do not always imply creativity; instead, good grades are usually a reflection of one’s knowledge in a given subject since schooling systems are more oriented on impacting knowledge than creating an environment that enhances creativity.
Knowledge is determined by set standards and systems, but creativity transcends these systems since a creative mind is more flexible and imaginative. With specific focus on great people like Albert Einstein, who came up with the laws of relativity, it is very clear that Einstein exercised more creativity than knowledge in coming up with the laws (Gardner 108).
Although it is acknowledgeable that his prior knowledge in the field of physical science created an environment for developing the laws of relativity, his sense of imagination was far much important than the acquired knowledge. It is for such a reason that college students should be more creative, other than just acquiring knowledge in their course of learning.
Creativity births innovation since it is not bound by experience, unlike knowledge that is limited to acquired skills and experience. Creativity encompasses the intrinsic motivation to pursue a certain interest, and this gives birth to innovation. Creativity allows college students to think in a flexible and imaginative way such that when a motivating environment is provided, students can end up creating very impressive solutions to problems. Global success is pegged on innovation.
Virtually every sphere of life in the current world is competitive in its own way. This calls for innovative minds in order to emerge successful (HR Focus 8). On the other hand, new ideas cannot be generated by relying on knowledge alone since knowledge is limited to the skills that are acquired through a formal or informal process of learning.
As such, creative thinking remains to be the solution to innovation in the current world. It is said that contemporary organizations are encouraging creative thinking as a way of remaining competitive. College students can supplement the existing gap in innovation by being more creative, in addition to being knowledgeable in their fields of study. To a college student, divergent and convergent thinking are a recipe for success, even outside college (HR Focus 8).
Creativity holds promise to providing solutions to the numerous challenges in the work environment and the larger society. Combining expertise with imagination, which encompasses flexible thinking, would help explore problems beyond the limited human understanding and develop effective solutions.
Colleges, among other institutions of higher learning, should offer the best platform for developing individual creativity. College students have the right environment to develop creativity since university-level education encourages individual learning more than pedagogical structured learning.
The wide access to information and elaborate interaction and networking available in colleges should ignite students to be more creative and become problem solvers. Moreover, college students should realize that they are under preparation for the great roles they will later play in the society, especially in their places of work (Livingston 60). For this reason, creativity is far much important than knowledge to a college student.
Combined knowledge and creativity can generate greater achievement, thus the importance of both cannot be underestimated. For instance, while someone like Einstein used imagination to come up with the laws of relativity, he also relied heavily on his immense knowledge of physical science to draft these laws (Gardner 104). Thus, while it is right to argue that creativity is more important than knowledge to a college student, it does not mean that knowledge has no place in fostering creativity.
In fact, it is right to argue that creativity is boosted by one’s knowledge, thus a very thin line exists between knowledge and creativity. Creativity comprises of expertise, flexible thinking and imagination, and motivation. Hope (39) acknowledges that creative potential is build over time and calls for consistent study with a particular goal in mind. The study must be focused on a specific field for creativity in that field to be developed.
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This implies that knowledge must be acquired under certain structures, such as schooling structures, to develop creative potential. An environment that does not foster creative thinking kills creativity. In addition, creativity is developed by acknowledging knowledge in a particular field (Ox and van der Elst 84). As such, college students cannot afford to ignore the need for structured learning and pursue creativity solely. Such an approach may not give birth to creativity since creativity is built on knowledge.
The world today is need of creative and innovative minds for global success to be achieved, and creative college minds can meet this need. To a college student, creativity will help in thinking and developing solutions beyond one’s acquired knowledge and skills.
Moreover, creative college students will find relevance in the present work environment since they will be able to come up with innovations. This notwithstanding, it is important for college student to acquire knowledge since creativity in any field is catalyzed by accumulated knowledge in the field of study.
As a college student, imagination should be given a priority in the course of acquiring knowledge if one wants to be creative. Moreover, college education should foster flexible thinking and provide a motivating environment that will give birth to creativity. Creativity among college students should be encouraged than the sole pursuit for knowledge in order to develop solutions that are so much needed in the working world and the society at large.
Gardner, Howard. Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2011. Print.
Hope, Samuel. “Creativity, Content, and Policy.” Arts Education Policy Review 111.2 (2010): 39-47. Print.
HR Focus. “Creativity and Innovation: Must-Haves for Global Success.” HR Focus News Briefs (2007): 8. Print.
Livingston, Larry. “Teaching Creativity in Higher Education.” Arts Education Policy Review 111.2 (2010): 59-62. Print.
Ox, Jack, and van der Elst Judith. “How Metaphor Functions as a Vehicle of Thought: Creativity as a Necessity for Knowledge Building and Communication.” Journal of Visual Art Practice 10.1 (2011): 83-102. Print.