Monday, November 23, 2009

Does Education harm creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson: schools kill creativity
Can one live blog a recorded video? Here are my notes:
I like the annotations on the video progress line - hover the mouse over it and you get chapters.

The future is very uncertain - yet education is meant to prepare students for the future.

Kids have talent - we squander those talents

Told the nativity story play joke:
three pre-school children enter the manger and say:
"I bring you gold."
"I bring you Myrrh."
"Frank sent this."

Children are willing to take risks.
"If you're not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original."
We're now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst things you can make.
Picasso once said "All children are born artists.  The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up."

Imagine Shakespeare when he was seven.  Imagine his English class.

hierarchy of school classes around the world.
Math and Languages

hierarchy of art:
-art and music
-drama and dance. 

 There isn't an education system on the planet that teaches dance everyday to children the way we teach them mathematics.

As education progresses, we start to teach them [children] from the waist up and then we focus on their heads - and slightly to one side.

The purpose of education in the world is to produce university professors.

Robinson's definition of creativity:  The process of having original ideas that have value. It more often than not comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things.


The story of Gillian Lynne:  Lynne was a woman who distracted classmates and never sat still.  She was taken to a psychologist with her mother.  The psychologist turned on the radio and took her mother from the room.  They watched her leap to her feet and dance.  The psychologist said, "Your daughter isn't sick. She's a dancer.  Take her to dance school." She eventually created 'Cats', the hit musical.

Robinson points out that many modern doctors would have simply given the girl some drugs and made her sit.
I want to take this moment to thank Mr Veitch, my grade six teacher, who spent extra time with me, finding out how I learned and tailoring some lesson content and test formats to the way I learned and thought.

Our education system has mined our minds in the way we strip mine the Earth, for a particular commodity.

Robinson discusses Al Gore's fears for the environment then returns to his first point.  We cannot know what the future holds and "Our task is to educate their whole being so they can face this future."

This talk made clear the problems of modern education and that it should be changed.  It did not offer plans or suggestions other than to 'educate the whole being'.  I understand that TED Talks are for 'big think' and not the nitty gritty, but I hope I can find concrete suggestions somewhere.

Fellow K-Blogger Chris Backe describes studying toward the goal of succeeding at the University Entrance Exam as destroying creativity as well:
It's almost heart-breaking as a teacher to work in this system. It's not because I don't want to see them lose years of their life to a test, but because the system both discourages creativity and encourages the rote memorization / regurgitation that such a test requires. There's no creativity needed to circle 'B', and too much creativity may even be seen as a bad thing on such writing tests as the nonsul. Seriously - what's the point in taking a 'creative writing' class, music lessons, figure skating lessons, dance lessons, or any other artistic venture when the 'only' things you have to know for university are your native language, English, math, and perhaps a few other minor things?
Expect more TED Talks although I need to catch up on watching them before I post.

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