‘Do school Kill Creativity’ by Ken Robinson – Educator and Creativity Expert (2006) Los Angeles
Do school Kill Creativity TEDTalk by Sir Ken Robinson an educator and creativity expert focuses on how the formal education system undermines creativity by elevating literacy over the capacity for creativity. Having been an advisor on educational matters to the government of the United Kingdom and as a thought leader on innovation and creativity not only in education but also in business, Sir Ken Robinson champions the idea of encouraging children to pursue what they really enjoy and then turn it into their job. Robinson points out an important link between education and the future, where he rightly claims that no one can aptly make predictions of what is going to happen in the next five years(Robinson, 2006). By making this assertion, he encourages an education system that prepares children for a future far beyond the horizon and one, which equates the importance of creativity with that of literacy because children have an extraordinary capacity for innovation. According to Robinson, an education system that places literacy over creativity squanders children and robs them of the key ingredient to originality; the ability to make mistakes, which they are born with. “If you are not prepared to be wrong, you cannot come up with anything original,” (Robinson, 2006).
While posing the question of what the purpose of education really is, Robinson points that, intelligence is diverse, dynamic, wonderfully interactive, and distinct and should not be delivered in a way that seem to only be meant to produce university professors. He emphasizes the clear distinction between education systems in the industrial age of 19th century; which placed mathematics and the languages on top, and education systems in the 21st century, which should recognize and acknowledge the shift in priorities. Robinson encourages a 21st century education system that brings to the fore, ideas, creativity, and innovation by educating the whole being of a person, recognizing the rich creative capacities in humans and celebrating the gift of human imagination. He advises to move away from a strictly left-brain thinking education system that suppresses in children, creativity and the interactive brain and other bodily function that form the bedrock of innovation and creativity, warning not to continue educating creativity out of children.
In reference to some of the stages of creativity, Robinson in his talk of how school kills creativity,recognizes that ideas do not arise in an intellectual vacuum citing that preparation as a key stage of creativity should embody the characteristics of intelligence. Intelligence is dynamic, distinct, wonderfully interactive, and most importantly diverse(Robinson, 2006). For creativity to reach others and accomplish whatever it was intended to, it must be packaged appropriately taking into consideration critical thinking skills where the audience of the idea or the message is key to the creative process. This stage of creativity often known as evaluation or verification ensures that a great idea is not lost because of poor packaging. Bing an area of the creative process that many creative people struggle with, it is imperative that the 21st century education system equips students with the skills for reflection and self-criticism to identify merit in their ideas and to be able to employ sufficient resources in the development of the ideas that score highly on the merit scale. This stage calls for testing creative ideas working and re-working the idea to ensure that it actually qualifies based on set standards of innovation, utility, and purpose before implementation.
Regarding the concepts of imagination and curiosity, it is more obvious for people to see that current systems of education are failing to meet current challenges, increasing the need to create more innovative alternatives. This, as Robinson puts it, requires that cultural attitudes and national policies get liberated from the notions of the past by looking forward beyond the visible horizons. The current systems of education and obviously the most dominant the world over seem to promote a narrow view of intelligence, fostered by standardization, failing to see human talents as personal and diverse. Curiosity and consequent imagination rejects the notions of compliance by recognizing that in order for achievement and cultural progress to thrive they must be anchored in the strong foundation of imagination and creativity. Unlike the current non-performing systems of education, curiosity and imagination do not seek to cultivate a rigid and linear course for every human being but instead acknowledges and promotes a more organic and largely unpredictable course of human creativity.
Borrowing from my own personal experiences, it is painfully true that schools and work places are equipped with processes and systems that are installed not necessary to inspire innovation and creativity but in many ways to discourage mistakes, which unfortunately stigmatizes the very seeds of creativity, and innovation. In this age where the rate of change is accelerated and fueled by technology, it is essential that personal fulfillment a key ingredient to a sustainable world be considered in the development of new forms of education.