Thursday, June 5, 2008

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

"If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll not come up with anything original."

Seems well-timed since my last post.

This is a quote from Sir Ken Robinson from this video. He speaks on the subject of creativity in education and how children have boundless curiosity that the standard education system is systematically destroying.

He addresses a bunch of stuff I've been discussing recently is this blog:

--the lean of academia (and educational models in general) to the brain at the expense of the body, and in particular the lean to the left brain, to the exclusion of the right
--the differences in men and women, particularly that women have thicker corpus callosums, which bridge the two cerebral hemispheres and allow women to be better at multi-tasking
--the importance of children and the nurturing of their individual learning styles as well as the support of their natural ability to create
--our need to redefine for ourselves what intelligence means

All this in less than 20 minutes (thanks Sim for the link). Well worth watching and discussing. At the risk of sounding like Whitney Houston, the children are our future. Let's consider now what that future is going to look like.

tall penguin

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Personally, I never thought WH sounded better than the night she drew out the "freeeeeeeeeeeee..." at the Super Bowl, way back when.

I think schools, parents, society in general do their best to kill creativity in the name of 'if tis different, tis to be feared.' Too much caught up in being normal, if one is not, there must be something wrong. Too much learning now is viewed as optional, be it in gym class, the arts, etc and what we're left with is a trend towards memorization, recitation, and standarization.

And now back to counting down the hours when I can get back to weeding and mulching my flower beds.

tall penguin said...

"Too much learning now is viewed as optional, be it in gym class, the arts, etc and what we're left with is a trend towards memorization, recitation, and standarization."

The interesting thing about the educational hierarchy we've created is, as Robinson points out, a University degree is so common that it's become basically meaningless in the workplace. It's replaced the High School Diploma. So, how does one show intelligence these days?

I see EQ (Emotional Intelligence) becoming key in the years to come. And this arises so very naturally from the creative arts, from having a connection to your body and your senses, rather than just being a disembodied mind.

In the end, there needs to be a middle ground where both the logic and the gestalt parts of the brain can be integrated. Makes that thick Corpus Callosum a pretty hot commodity. Maybe women should rule the world. Oh wait, we already do. We bear and raise children. ;)

Anonymous said...

I just biked 5 miles to get lunch because I'm too lazy to fix something at home. It is ridiculously muggy outside right now. Not that that has to do with anything, but tis just the way of life.

Just thought I'd share while I process your response. The active mind is processing it word by word with due analytical tendency, while the reptilian stem is turning the bigger picture over and around and about, going oooh, and ahhh, at all the pretty colors.

To answer your final point though, one need only look at Barbara Bush and GWB for a prime example of the childrearing process gone way wrong.

tall penguin said...

"The active mind is processing it word by word with due analytical tendency, while the reptilian stem is turning the bigger picture over and around and about, going oooh, and ahhh, at all the pretty colors."

lol anon. Yes, it's a fun little place in there ain't it?!

Re: Bush children. Nature? Nurture? Something in the water? Some things are just beyond explanation.

Anonymous said...

More fun than anyone else can ever know. Although, I suppose that's true for you and everyone else as well. :) Once I got over the fact that I'm not really created in God's image, it got to be quite the adventure exploring exactly how I am created.

100% agreement on the Bush children. Ugh.

John Conley said...

I'm glad I'm not normal. As a high-school drop-out, I was always told that I would not succeed. It's rather interesting how many people thought that. I now make more money each year than my father did at retirement after having gone to college.

I think anyone who knows me, understands that I'm extremely creative, but I can also be extremely logical. I have a new philosophy with regard to my career. Instead of going into the classroom to learn it, which will allow the world to provide me with the opportunity to do what I want, I just do it instead.

Would you like to be a photographer? Get a camera, take some pictures. Take pictures of what you love. Congratulations, you're a photographer. Want to be an artist? Do it. Maybe you won't be in the Guggenheim, but you will probably create something you will be proud of.

I am many things. I'm a businessman. I'm a writer. I'm a musician, a photographer, public speaker, chef, psychologist and athlete. I didn't go to school for any of it. If I had to, I wouldn't have been any of those things. I can learn in the classroom, but I would rather learn outside that box.

What I'm saying is that when you start your education in a room, you have a tendency to limit yourself to its confines.

Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer, Ph.D. said...

Hi tall penguin,
Love your blog. Thanks too for visiting mine and for taking a look at my book -- it's great to get a thumbs up from a bookseller. Hopefully it will help people out there. -- Beth Schaefer, Writing through the Darkness: Easing Your Depression with Paper and Pen.

tall penguin said...

"What I'm saying is that when you start your education in a room, you have a tendency to limit yourself to its confines."

Well said John.

tall penguin said...

"Beth Schaefer, Writing through the Darkness: Easing Your Depression with Paper and Pen."

Hey Beth, thanks for stopping by. I think your book is great and highly recommend it.