Pre-thinking:

We tend to think of schooling as life enhancing, and growth promoting. Sir Ken Robinson has a different view. He believes that in some ways education is harmful for all children, and very harmful for some. Listen to his talk to see his reasoning, and find if you agree or not.

Why you should listen:

Why don’t we get the best out of people? Sir Ken Robinson argues that it’s because we’ve been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies — far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity — are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences. “We are educating people out of their creativity,” Robinson says. It’s a message with deep resonance. Robinson’s TEDTalk has been distributed widely around the Web since its release in June 2006. The most popular words framing blog posts on his talk? “Everyone should watch this.”

Who is he:

A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government’s 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements. His 2009 book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, is a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into 21 languages. A 10th anniversary edition of his classic work on creativity and innovation, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, was published in 2011. His latest book, Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life, will be published by Viking in May 2013.

Questions:

  1. He says that children have an extraordinary capacity for innovation. Agree or disagree, and support with examples.
  1. His contention is that creativity is as important as literacy. Do you think this is true?
  1. If you’re not prepared to be wrong you’ll never come up with something original. Do schools instill a fear of being wrong? If so, how can this be fixed?
  1. Robinson says that we teach people from the waist up, and eventually only the head. That he cerebral person wins in education. Is this a good thing, or should we be educating a more complete person?
  1. Education as we know it came to be in the 19th century to meet the needs of industrialism. Should we be looking at a different paradigm for the future?
  1. As a psychologist what advice would you give the parents of a student who doesn’t “fit” most school curriculum’s?

How schools kill creativity with Ken Robinson

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