Creativity vs. Education

I visited the TED.com website and watched a video of speaker Ken Robinson give a talk called How Schools Kill Creativity. I found this talk and this speaker to both be extremely interesting. Robinson gives us his own definition of creativity, stating that it is “the process of having original ideas that have value.” He discussed how schools educate students “out” of creativity as they get older and focus on other disciplines. He went on to say that these disciplines have a hierarchy with math and sciences at the top and the others falling right behind. Robinson explained to the audience that students entering school this year will be retiring in 2065, so we as teachers are educating them for an unpredictable and very far off future. He wants teachers to put creativity at the same standard they put literacy. Some students excel with course work and some students excel through creative sources and we need to provide for both outcomes in classrooms of the future. Robinson gave the audience a real life example of this. He asked the audience if they knew who Jillian Lind was, and then explained that she is the choreographer and known best for choreographing the musicals Cats and Phantom of the Opera. When she was a child she often had trouble sitting still in class and would disrupt her classmates. Since it was the 1930s there was no medical research done, but we can assume she had ADHD. Her parents took her to see a specialist to try to “fix” these problems she was having in school. After hearing her mother out, the specialist asked to speak to the mother outside and when he left he turned the radio on. She immediately began dancing by herself in the room, in which the specialist explained to her mother that there is nothing wrong with her, she just needs to dance, and asked her to take Jillian to a dance school. Mrs. Lind did that and Jillian went on to go to a ver prestigious school of dance, excel in her own dancing career, and then choreograph some of the most famous broadway musicals. This story shows that encouraging creativity through outlets such as art and dance can help to see how some students learn and where there talents can be found. Lastly, Robinson discussed the issue of academic inflation. Years ago you only needed a degree to get a job. Now people with degrees don’t have jobs, and the jobs that used to require a BA now require an MA, and the jobs that required an MA now require a PHD. This process does not allow for creative growth in schools and forces society to look at education in a negative light. Overall, I enjoyed the lecture given by Ken Robinson and his incorporation of humor throughout the 20 minutes that kept the audience in tune and entertained with his talk.

Link of video:

http://www.ted.com/playlists/24/re_imagining_school

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