Is Education Killing Creativity

By samooresamoore (1221585006|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

This interview with Sir Ken Robinson is a really a fantastically thought-provoking piece on creativity and education.

Some points that he makes:

  • The conditions for your creativity to come out have to be right. But we are all creative or, at least, can all be creative. It's just a matter of finding the right task and the right conditions.
  • It's important to educate for creativity and to educate creatively. These are two different things but are both important.
  • Science is important, as is math. But equally important are the arts, music, and dance.
  • Pieces of education: Curriculum, assessment, teaching. “Teaching is the only thing that makes a difference.” This was always the case for me.

Have you found what you're good at? Have you found your talent? Has education helped you find it?

My daughters are two very different people. My oldest daughter is a really good student, and her values and method of operation fit well within the process of going to school and performing well in classrooms. My youngest daughter is a dancer and doesn't fit into the same mold. She's a really really good dancer, but this has nothing to do with her education — it doesn't help her and it doesn't interfere. It's simply outside of the world of education for her. Why is that?

As for me, I truly enjoy programming. I also enjoy the design process of just about anything — Web pages, woodworking, garden design, page layout, etc. Any chance that I can, I take the opportunity to work on putting together a Web site (such as the one we use for this class). Why? Because I enjoy it, and I have at least a bit of ability in the area. It allows me to combine my enjoyment of programming and design. Some people express their talent (and themselves) via dance or singing; I express myself by programming. Strange? Maybe, but it's how I am wired. I was uncomfortable with this for many, many years; however, once I got comfortable with it, I was a much happier and more productive person.

A book that helped me understand myself much better is Godel, Escher, Bach: The Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter. In this book he draws analogies among math, art, and music. He helped me understand why I was drawn to all of them. I can't recommend this more highly. It's simply a tour-de-force, and one of the best examples of outstanding non-fiction writing.

I hope you spend a half-hour of your day to watch these videos, and then reflect on them a bit.

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