A relative who moved to US came back to Singapore for holidays and we obviously shared the difference in the education system between Singapore and US.

We were taking about the approaches both countries take to produce creativity and the differences are startling.

"When my daughter was in a Singapore school, she went to art class and the teacher told her that day she would be drawing butterflies. My daughter was extremely excited and was very eager to draw them," she said.

"But the teacher to told them to wait and gave them instructions on how to draw a butterfly. The next art class came and the teacher told them to draw trees. Again, my daughter was told to hold on to her eagerness and was given instructions how to draw  a tree.

"When my daughter went to the US, in an art class, the teacher asked her to draw a playground. While the other student started drawing, my daughter was waiting to start. The teacher asked why and my daughter explained that she was waiting for instructions on how to draw a playground."

So for Singaporeans to think out of the box, we first need instructions to find the box, define what the box is inside and outside the box.

For example, if a kid colours a tree red, will the Singapore teacher mark it wrong because in the Singapore education system there are only green trees?


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