Catch-on not Catch-up

Fearful For The “Lost Generation” Existing In An Anxious Society Who Need to “Catch-Up”?

Breath. We can step outside the “fear breeds anxiety breeds more fear and more anxiety” cycle.

AccessArt hands making

We have a powerful tool at our disposal to help heal, build confidence and empower. Our own Creativity.

Let’s not perpetuate the “lost generation” myth. These children are unique but not lost. The more we sell the message of the lost generation, the more we perpetuate fear and anxiety. Instead of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of the “lost generation” let’s be brave and create a “nourished generation”.

We have fingers, heads and hearts. We have senses and emotions. We have imaginations. This generation does not need to catch-up to where they would have been – that is going backwards, instead they need to be enabled to leap forwards through hands, heads and hearts and explore their place in the world, supported by families, teachers and schools who tell them it is safe to do so. Let’s make primary schools a place where creativity can be supported and nourished and children can be enabled to discover their ability to transform the world about them.

We are more creative as a species than we are currently led to believe. Intrinsically, inherently, creative. We need only look back at history to see that, and we value it as an adult skill and yet still many teachers in many schools struggle to find time to invest in the creativity of their pupils without huge effort or apology.

We do not need to worry that it is an either OR scenario. Enabling these children to spend time exploring their creativity will NOT detract from their ability to succeed in “academic subjects” (and that term is a whole other conversation). Quite the opposite; schools where creativity flourishes demonstrate that motivation, ownership of learning and outcomes in other subject areas flourish too. This is not fuzzy thinking where we create a cossetted world full of play and fun (though why not?). Creative thought and action is hard work; you have to be brave to explore, think really hard, learn new skills, battle with materials, take risks, put yourself on the line, figure out what you think, express yourself, share with others, change the world. We’re talking about enabling people to be brave, positive, productive, and act for the benefit of society as well as for the individual. Don’t worry, it won’t be easy. Finger painting isn’t all fun you know.

Let’s switch the message we are telling our children. We are stronger than we perhaps think. If we create a dialogue around this generation of loss, we make them less then. Instead let’s use the power we all have – our creativity – to climb back up. Not catch-up – but catch-on.

So, let’s step back, take a breath, and create a nourished generation, lavished with time to draw, paint, print, make, build, photograph, write, dance, make music and most all – be empowered to explore the world and produce our own creative response. Teachers too.

Thank you to all the teachers in school who know how important creativity is to pupils, and who work long and hard to provide stimulating creative opportunities for their pupils 🙂



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