"I think we all have a vested interest in education, partly because it's meant to take us into this future we can't grasp. If you think about it...children entering school this year will be retiring in 2065. Nobody has a clue, despite all the expertise that's been on parade the last four days, what the world will even look like in five years time...and yet we're meant to be educating them for it."

It's an interesting talk, where he goes on to talk about some things dear to my heart, such as the difference between rote knowledge and skills development. Indeed, I think most of the people here, while they recognize the need to equip kids with the 3Rs, are here because of the recognition that using the tools of today is one of the important ways in which kids will develop the skills to deal with the world in 2040.

(indeed, I made a note in my blog a few hours a friend linked me to this video that says, "What I am more interested in is facilitating the child who seeks out information and knowledge on their own.")

Link to the video, can also be downloaded as an mp4, or audio in mp3: http://is.gd/H3s

I would be very interested in hearing the opinions of teachers after watching the video, as opposed to my own starry eyed technophile ideas ;-)

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Hi Stephanie,

Absolutely, what you are writing about is relevant to teachers. What ever level we teach, creativity is part of what breathes life into the learning experience. Perhaps we need to share ideas about how to teach creativity, which I firmly believe can be done. (Some people would disagree with me there.)

And surely, to support and share creativity, we need all the tools that are available, brand new ones and old ones alike.

BTW, just as schools may be set up to kill creativity, they may also be set up to reduce our thinking power in general.

The research from neuroscience is very clear: exercise helps cognition. Here's a really good video on the importance of exercise by John Medina, author of Brain Rules. So although you're talking about creativity, it seems that exercise is another part of the equation in bringing life and vibrant learning to school.
It's a mindset issue. Geegaws can be a hindrance as well as help, just as a geegaw-free zone can be a help as well as a hindrance. What's broadcast in my/your/their classroom (plus the broadcast noise from other classrooms, parents, school boards and governments) encourages or stifles creativity.

And, as you watch Robinson, it's worth reflecting that his talk is geegaw-free (and still(!) fascinating).

If my mindset is (within the constraints of my employment) "how can I allow or encourage students to pursue thinking interests" then my broadcast is creativity-friendly at least, and there is life available yet! If my mindset is - "the moderating panel may investigate any element of my class activity, I must store, annotate, categorise and document every step which is taken" then my broadcast is conform, comply, paint within the lines, and creativity may get to be an onlooker, but not much more. (Documentation does have its place - let's keep it there!)

Teacher mindset + accessible tools give the richest openings (I'm one of those not sure that creativity can be taught - but I'd reckon Connie is able to infect students with it!). Mindset is prior. The rest can follow.


             While I am not exactly starry eyed about Sir Ken or exactly a teacher yet, currently I am a tutor, there is a certain respect for his intelligent line of reasoning.  I also happen to think that he is a hilarious fellow, which is beside the point.  I've done of a lot of thinking and practicing to be able to act creatively and imbue that in the students I work with.  If a student either finds that tutoring is necessary or chooses it to strengthen a weak area a creative approach is the only thing that will help with misunderstanding.  You have to think of different ways of explaining the same thing because the standard, at least for the individual students curriculum, didn't help at all or to the desired level of efficacy

             Often the most effective way to get things rolling when tutoring is a pop quiz in creative thinking every time I ask the question, "What are your interests outside of what I'm tutoring?" (I usually college physics or mathematics).  I immediately set to finding an application for the physical law or the mathematical concept that is relevant in some fashion for the field they have more knowledge in.  This test of my creativity steers the student into an independent brain storming session and they are always able to think of more application than me and get a better understanding of what we're catching them up on.  I'm sure a lot of tutors have similar experiences, perhaps.  Have a great day.




I was so jazzed by Sir Robinson's thoughts that I bought the book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything.  It was my son who sent me the link to the TED talk.  We talked for days, as we awaited the arrival of the book.  We discussed the concepts Ken was proposing.  My son graduates this May and has had a tough time feeling like a square peg being shoved into a round hole.  He zoomed through the book in two days!!  We are still talking about it!


The book cleared things up in his mind.  He may not have found his element yet, but he understands better why he doesn't fit into the traditional mold.  And now, he is more patient with himself.  He knows that he will find his passion.  And, I know, that when he does, it WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING!


Get the book on inter library loan if you have to.  Find some way to put your hands on it.  Be prepared both to not be able to put it down, and at the same time, having to put it down to stop and digest what he says.  It was for me both a "page turner" and "brain stopper."  It has been one year since your post.  Now would be a good time to revisit the ideas put forth by Ken Robinson.


I think Ken is Brill!!!! love his ideas and he has changed the way I think about my students, myself and my own children. His book the element is also great and they now have it in itunes on audio.

I teach in a British school and I really think that creativity is a missing part in it. Years ago we used to let the children all the way through the primary years have lots of play and be able to construct things. Some of the constructions I saw were amazing the students explanations of how and what they were doing were really deep thinking. Where has all that gone? its all about trying to cover the currculium and who has what grade.


I think that the thing they were scared of, is how they grade these kind of activities so they took take it away and tried to tie the children to their desks. Which hasn't worked.


What people don't understand they fever.


Time to bring it back and the time is right with lots of creative Web 2.0 resources around today. 

Do schools kill creativity?

Yes and no.


No: More schools now seem to make a greater effort to encourage kids to use and develop their creative thinking skills.


Yes:  Traditional teaching drills into the student's head what *the* answer to a question is.  But creative people should know that there is often more than one (simple) answer to a question.  It depends on the perspectives and the context as to what the most appropriate answer is.


We should teach that there is often more than one answer to a question.  That helps develop creativity.

Get kids to provide examples of when different answers are valid.


In terms of innovation, society may be better placed if kids are asked to consider the potential disadvantages of an innovation.  By identifying these the innovation can be proactively modified to produce a better innovation with fewer disadvantages; along with its advantages of course! :-)

On Twitter follow #edbookclub where we are reading and discussing SKR's Out of Our Minds which discusses creativity and schools.  My personal opinion, and it is just that, SKR chooses examples that make his point but are not common.  No matter what schools do they will not be successful for all.  If, like SKR wants, there was a large amount of dance in schools I would not have been served well.  So schools can only do what the society allows and tries to force on them.
I would say students are more creative through home schooling, or tutoring sections in home. They are given freedom to learn in their own style which boost them in creativity. I have tutored many children via tutorz site, and i came to know students feel relaxed and stress free while learning from home.


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