[Letters] Science museums, the best place for creative education

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[Letters] Science museums, the best place for creative education

The human brain is divided into two functional hemispheres, the left in charge of logic and intelligence and the right responsible for creativity and sensitivity. In an industrializing society where mass production has been a competitive edge, schooling to turn out many individuals crammed with as much knowledge as possible had been good guidance in education. In short, IQ, or the measure of the relative intelligence of a person, mattered most. Mental activities of the left side through math and science studies naturally developed, while the cognitive activities of the right through studies in humanities and philosophy went largely neglected.

In today’s society, which prefers variety and intensive production over quantity and sameness, emotional intelligence, or EQ, and creativity become a competitive edge. Iconic innovators like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have inspired the world through their creative reinvention and persistence. Korea has also realigned education policy in line with this global and historic trend with the goal of fostering inventive and converging minds and talents. It seeks to merge experimental and investigative science and technology with art in education policy. The core of creative education is the harmonious development of science and arts, or logic and emotion - left and right mental activities - supplemented with direct field experience and application.

The best place to experience creative education is a science museum. It provides spacious labs and parks for students to test their curiosity and experiment, to understand and learn through fun and natural processes. The National Science Museum in Gwacheon hosts various science and cultural events and activities all year around as well as housing more than 4,000 permanent and special exhibits. The ecosystem park provides insight into the mysteries of nature and biology.

In advanced countries, the government and public encourage students to frequent visits to science museums to foster intelligence and emotional potential. The science museum here also could serve as an incubator for creative minds.

by Choi Eun-chul Director general of the Gwacheon National Science Museum

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