Teachers who help students develop their innate creativity are preparing them for the future. In contrast, traditional modes of education, which focus on getting the right answer and passing exams, stifle a child’s curiosity and willingness to make mistakes.
Imagine being back at school. How well did your experiences in the classroom prepare you for what you’re doing today?
According to Sir Ken Robinson schools kill creativity. In the TED talk below he explains “we’re running national education systems where mistakes are the worse things you can make”.
As an English teacher, I love the way Robinson blends stories with theories to encourage his audience to look beyond what they’ve always been told, to the implications of doing what’s always been done. One of my favourite descriptions is that of university professors who live so much of their lives in their minds that their bodies are simply a means to get their heads to a meeting.
It is worth noting that this particular TED talk was given in 2006. However, far from being ‘old news’ Robinson’s words have as much, if not more, relevance today. Our children are facing a digitally enhanced world that is filled with old world problems – evils such as bullying reach beyond school yard and classroom to homes and bedrooms.
Our children need to develop the mind-strength that comes with creativity so they can face their future with a confident, proactive attitude. We need to help them develop the problem solving skills that fuel resilience. In other words, we need to let them fail so they may learn.
Robinson argues “creativity is as important as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.” I think he has a point. We need to teach critical, creative and emotional literacy so our kids have the skills they need to think clearly, perform at their best and be who they want to be.
This presentation is a humorous, thought provoking look at the role of creativity in a modern age. Have a look and let me know what you think.
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