Unleashing Creativity: Breaking the Chains of Traditional Education


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 18, 2023

3 min read


Unleashing Creativity: Breaking the Chains of Traditional Education


In today's rapidly evolving world, creativity has become an essential skill. It fuels innovation, problem-solving, and critical thinking. However, there is a growing concern that traditional educational systems may stifle creativity rather than nurture it. Sir Ken Robinson, a renowned educator, argues that schools kill creativity. On the other hand, Oz Hashimoto, a UX designer, explores mental models and how they influence our perception of products. While these topics may seem unrelated at first glance, there are underlying connections that shed light on the importance of fostering creativity in education.

1. Breaking the Mold:

Sir Ken Robinson's thought-provoking talk challenges the conventional education system and its impact on creativity. He argues that schools primarily focus on academic subjects at the cost of nurturing other important skills, such as creativity and imagination. The rigid structure, standardized testing, and emphasis on conformity inhibit students' ability to think creatively and explore their unique talents.

2. Mental Models and User Experience:

Oz Hashimoto's article delves into the concept of mental models in the field of user experience design. Mental models are frameworks that help users understand and interact with products. By leveraging familiar concepts and patterns, designers can create intuitive and engaging experiences. This concept resonates with the idea that familiarity breeds preference and engagement. Similarly, in education, providing students with opportunities to engage in familiar and relatable contexts can spark their creativity and passion for learning.

3. The Power of Reciprocity:

One of the mental models discussed by Hashimoto is reciprocity - the human tendency to feel the need to reciprocate when we receive a gift or favor. In education, this principle can be applied to foster creativity. When teachers create a supportive and nurturing environment, students feel valued and encouraged to express their ideas. By acknowledging and appreciating their creativity, educators can ignite a sense of reciprocity that motivates students to explore their creative potential further.

4. Nurturing Creativity through Chunking:

Breaking complex activities into smaller, manageable tasks is a proven technique to enhance learning and productivity. Hashimoto highlights the importance of chunking in user experience design. Similarly, educators can apply this principle in the classroom by breaking down creative projects into smaller, achievable tasks. By providing students with clear milestones, they can build confidence, stay motivated, and unleash their creative potential.

5. Embracing Unconventional Pathways:

Both Robinson and Hashimoto advocate for the importance of embracing unconventional pathways. Traditional education often follows a linear trajectory, but creativity thrives in diverse and non-linear environments. Educators can foster creativity by encouraging students to explore alternative approaches, challenge the status quo, and think outside the box. By valuing diverse perspectives and ideas, schools can create a fertile ground for creativity to flourish.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Encourage interdisciplinary learning: Breaking the silos of traditional subjects allows students to make connections and leverage diverse knowledge to fuel their creativity.
  • 2. Provide open-ended projects: Instead of rigid assignments, offer projects that allow students to explore their interests and find creative solutions to real-world problems.
  • 3. Foster a growth mindset: Encourage students to embrace failure as a stepping stone to success and nurture their belief in their own ability to learn and grow.


Creativity is a skill that can shape our future and drive progress. By acknowledging the limitations of traditional education and embracing unconventional approaches, we can create an environment that nurtures creativity. Incorporating principles from UX design, such as mental models and chunking, can provide valuable insights into how we can foster creativity in education. By breaking the chains of traditional education, we can unleash the creative potential of every student and pave the way for a more innovative and vibrant society.

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