Putting the learning basic knowledge against the development of creative thinking is a false choice. Both need to be cultivated. The stronger one's knowledge about the subject hand, the more nuanced one's creativity can be in addressing a new problem. Just as knowledge amounts to little without the exercise of ingenuity and imagination, creativity absent a sturdy foundation of knowledge builds a shaky house.
Peter C. Brown and Henry L. Roediger III, Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning