Innovating Through Artistry

Are Schools Killing Our Creativity?

In Emotional Intelligence on January 22, 2009 at 7:37 am

Check out this video presentation below given by creativiity expert, Sir Ken Robinson. It is 20 minutes long and WELL WORTH listening to.

Sir Ken Robinson is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources. He has worked with governments in Europe, Asia and the USA, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and some of the world’s leading cultural organizations. In 1998, he led a national commission on creativity, education and the economy for the UK Government. All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education (The Robinson Report) was published to wide acclaim in 1999. He was the central figure in developing a strategy for creative and economic development as part of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, working with the ministers for training, education enterprise and culture. The resulting blueprint for change, Unlocking Creativity, was adopted by politicians of all parties and by business, education and cultural leaders across the Province. He was one of four international advisors to the Singapore Government for its strategy to become the creative hub of South East Asia.

Adam Shames on his new blog wrote about a conversation he had with Ken at a recent presentation he gave here in Chicago at Columbia College. The remainder of this post is from Adam Shames blog Innovation on my Mind.

As part of the Columbia College Chicago “Conversations in the Arts” in December, I talked to Sir Ken Robinson about the need for building creativity competencies in education and organizations. He shared with the audience two main points:

1. That we live in unprecedented times, revolutionary even, which have no historical precedent and that need creative approaches to address our challenges
2. That we have to think differently about our natural capacities—that we have a crisis of human resources and now is the time to tap our own resources more effectively.

According to Sir Ken “the great adventure of America” has thrived on its “multiplicity of talents” and that “like natural resources, human talents our buried deep” and must be uncovered. Too many of us are disconnected from what we are good at doing and love to do, and education’s challenge is to help each person access their great talents.

To do that, Sir Ken said we need more than reform: we need to transform education. U.S. education, like many systems around the world, is still stuck in an “industrial mindset,” sending students through a linear progression of subjects and skills, hoping they pop out at the end of the assembly line to be properly employed. But the world doesn’t work that way anymore. Even a college education is no assurance of a job, so the “economic ideology” behind education is no longer relevant.

Teachers should be hired to teach students, he says, not subjects, and our main goal should be to uncover and unleash the natural talents each of us has. I’m looking forward to reading his new book about talent, The Element, coming out this month.

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