Do schools kill creativity?

If you’d asked me while I was still at school, it’s pretty likely I would have said ‘yes’. A decade later, having watched this video, I realise that I feel the same way. Except that having now watched this great TED talk from Ken Robinson, education guru and all round interesting guy, the reasons I’d cite for this are a bit more intellectual than they would have been during my school days.

Robinson argues that the assumptions embedded within prevailing education paradigms are increasingly anachronistic, structuring the education process around an abstracted and inadequate understanding of ‘intelligence’ which leads to students being divided into the ‘academic’ and the ‘non-academic’, frustrating a great deal of human potential in the process. So too the Fordist assumptions underlying school as institutions, arbitrarily dividing students into age cohorts – which, when you think about it, is a bit weird really – before shuttling them, en masse, through the school/factory system. It’s individualising and atomising, with the omnipresence of standardised testing leading to widespread disengagement and alienated learning. If we’re going to prepare students for the 21st century economy we need to do things differently.

What do you think…?


Categories: Rethinking The World

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1 reply »

  1. This is a highly-important message and one I share with many of my students here in New York. It’s a great way to open up a discussion about higher education and the complaints that students have about it. I think they all see themselves in that dancer story Robinson conveys. I know I do. We cannot just convey content and call it a college course. Students will get that the remainder of their lives. What we need to do is develop their talents, and help them to discover them.

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