Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson, an author and renowned speaker in the field of education, gives a captivating talk in a TED conference in Montgomery, California on whether schools kill creativity in children.

He brings out the chinks in the public education system by pointing out the fact that it is educating children for a future no one knows.

He says that children have extraordinary capacities for innovation and dedication.
One trait he particularly admires in children is taking chances. Kids are not scared of making mistakes, which according to the speaker changes when we grow up.

The society stigmatizes mistakes and the national education system reiterates this by portraying mistakes as wrong.

As a result, we are today falling out of creativity instead of growing into it.

The speaker also brings to light the fact that the same hierarchy in subjects is maintained all over the world. On the top are mathematics and languages followed by the humanities. Arts occupies the bottom rung. The fact that education was invented to meet the needs of industrialism explains this hierarchy.

This ranking has resulted in what the speaker calls academic inflation. Kids with degrees are sitting at home because you now need a higher degree in almost everything where a basic degree had sufficed before. 

This hierarchy of subjects is based on two ideas- one, that all subjects needed for work should be at the top, and second, on academic ability.

He points out how intelligence has three essential features:
it is at once diverse, dynamic and distinct.
He does this to drive home the truth that intelligence is not one-dimensional, as our education systems make it out to be. 

Indeed, Sir Ken Robinson makes a profoundly convincing argument about how we need to change the fundamental principles of our education system to ensure it fosters creativity rather than killing it.

This is a summary of a TED talk titled 'Do Schools Kill Creativity?' by Sir Ken Robinson (available on YouTube) published on January 6, 2007, written as part of a media class assignment.


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