Don't grade 'creative' assignments

Creativity necessitates being unconventional ("Don't let teaching innovation cause kids more stress" by Mr Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan; Jan 2).

More often than not, however, creativity is discounted in students' daily lives, with the emphasis placed on being politically correct rather than raising issues and views that are seldom discussed.

This may be attributed to how there is a fear that one will receivea lower grade by not doing something in the "accepted" way.

Is the education system too regimented, such that every experience comes with allocated marks?

What places the most stress on students are grades. Hence, teachers should not grade assignments that are supposed to develop "innovation".

Teachers should reduce students' worries about being graded for such work, if they want to develop students' creativity.

It is encouraging that Acting Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng urged school leaders to think deeply about their roles as educators, and challenged them to give students the space to innovate and take risks ("Students 'need the space to innovate'"; Dec 30, 2015).

Indeed, it is pertinent in this century to demonstrate creativity. And with the push for a curriculum geared towards creativity, I hope there will be more of a focus on innovationand creative thinking, something that comes without stressing students out more.

Wong Shi Yin, 16, Secondary 4 student

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 27, 2016, with the headline 'Don't grade 'creative' assignments'. Print Edition | Subscribe