May 3, 2011

Do schools kill creativity?

A girl was drawing a picture of god. People around her said “No one knows what god looks like.” And she said “They would in a minute”.
Kids will take a chance. They will not worry about being wrong. They will take a risk. The same is unfortunately not true about adults.
If you are not prepared to be wrong you wont come with anything
original. By the time they get to be adults they have lost that capacity. They are frightened of being wrong.
Schools are run in a way where mistakes are the worst things that can happen. We are educating people out of their creative capacity.
Picasso said “ All children are born artists.” We don’t grow into creativity but we grow out of it, or rather get educated out of it.
Do you know where Shakespeare was born? He was born in stratford. Can you imagine of Shakespeare as a child? Being 7 and going to school? He must have been 7 sometime and been in someone’s English class.
How annoying would it have been? Checking all of his English assignments and telling him to work harder on his English. Can you imagine his mom telling him “Go to bed now and put the pencil down. and stop speaking like that. Its confusing everybody.”
If this had been the case Shakespeare wouldn't have been what he is today. People wouldn’t know him like they do.
Same hierarchy of subjects everywhere. At the top is maths and languages, then humanities and then the arts.
Maths is very important but so is dance. After all, we do have bodies, don't we?
The main output of education is to produce university professors who typically live in their heads. They look upon their body as a form of transport for their heads.
There was no such education system before the 19th century. They all came into being to meet the needs of the green revolution.
You’re always told not to do what you like. Don’t do art, don’t do music. You’ll never get a job like this.
Highly talented, brilliant and creative people think they are not capable because of the bad system of university entrance. Anybody not good at school was never valued and stigmatized. In the next 30 years according to UNESCO more people will be graduating through university than since the beginning of history. Degrees aren’t worth anything. Isn’t that true? Earlier if a student had a degree he had a job and if he didn’t have a job it was because he didn’t want one.
Now you need a PhD where you needed an MA and you now need an MA where you needed a BA degree. This is because of academic inflation. My father once met a person who had done his BA. Can you guess what job he was doing? He is one of the security guards in our colony.
We know three things about intelligence:
1. It is diverse-visually, in sound
2. It is dynamic- wonderfully interactive creativity is a process of having original ideas which have values
3. It is distinct.

But the current education system
1. enforces rules upon us and instructs us to do things in a specific manner
2. focuses on all kinds of subjects, not allowing professionals in the country to be experts in their domain.
3. enables the majority of the population, who by the way do not want to become lawyers or doctors to waste their time and kill creativity.
4. doesn’t allow our schools to be flexible. They have very limited co-curricular activities.

The 20th century saw the rule of the left brained-the analyzers. But with the 21st century comes the renaissance of the right brained people.


Source: Ted Talk by Ken Robinson

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