What should schools put first? Discipline or creativity?

The BBC reports asks, what type of schools do we want? Should it be about creativity and independent thinking? Or should it be about getting the basics right and taking a tough line on discipline?

Of course, these things are not mutually exclusive. Many people would probably want both.

But an international study from the Pew Research group in the United States asked people in 19 different countries to say which they would make their priority. If they had to choose, which would they prefer – promoting creativity or attending to the “academic basics”?

The research, part of Pew’s annual survey of global attitudes, showed big cultural differences towards education – and widening political polarisation.

In countries such as Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Canada, there was a clear preference in public opinion for an education system that emphasised creativity and independent thinking.

But at the other end of the spectrum was the UK, where researchers found that 51% wanted schools to prioritise the basics and discipline, compared with 37% who thought schools should pay more attention to cultivating creativity.

In many ways, this no-nonsense view in the UK was closer to the less developed countries included in the survey, such as Kenya and Nigeria, where the expectation was that schools should get on with teaching the basics.

Countries such as the United States, Australia and Japan hovered somewhere in the middle, with opinion divided.

Read more What should schools put first? Discipline or creativity?

What do you think? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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