Why creative writing?

There is an article from The Atlantic that makes an impassioned plea for creative writing.

If you think about it, it is strange that you need to go to such lengths to convince people that students need to be given that time and space to write and to think about writing, not just for exam preparation and proposal writing, but for making connections with other humans, finding their sense of who they are, forming coherent links with what they have learnt, are learning and are trying to make sense of.

I suppose it’s the same strangeness I feel when people need to justify having discussions about current affairs (and really, all affairs in general) and talk in the classroom. It’s this uneasiness that something so natural to human existence is kept out of the classroom because nobody can find a good enough way to measure the outcome of your 30-minute lesson that could have been spent doing something that is seemingly more productive, such as going over the answers for an additional comprehension passage.

The reasons for not putting more emphasis on writing are many: No time, they can write at home, writing is an innate talent — if you don’t have it, don’t bother, nobody taught me how to write, creative writing isn’t tested in the exam, my school leader’s emphasis is not on writing. 

Writing, like other forms of artistic expression, is treated as superfluous. How on earth did we get to this point and what should we do about it?



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