“We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it.” Would you agree?
This morning I listened to Sir Ken Robinson’s presentation on the educational system. I urge you to watch it, if you haven’t already. Not only do I find his speech thought provoking, but he also has an incredible sense of humor.
He claims that, “Creativity is as important in education as literacy and that we should treat it with the same status?”
Do you agree?
Picasso said, “All kids are born artists.” The problem is, how do we remain artists as we grow up? It’s our fear of making mistakes and being wrong that causes our loss of creativity as we grow older.
Sir Ken gave the example of a six-year-old girl who hardly ever paid attention in class. One day, during a drawing lesson, she finally sat still. The teacher asked her, “What are you drawing?” the girl said, “I’m drawing a picture of God.” The teacher responded, “But no one knows what God looks like.” To which the little girl said, “They will in a minute.”
Sir Ken claims that we run our companies in the same way as our educational system. “We stigmatize mistakes, and we run our education system this way, where mistakes are the worst thing we can make, and the result is we’re educating people out of their creative capacities.”
As a writer, I’m teaching myself to become more creative. Classes are offered in creative writing and now I wonder if that’s because we lost our creativity in school and as adults, we’re trying to get it back. Just as Picasso said, “We’re all born artists.” We just have to remain artists as we grow up.
Sir Ken points out something very interesting. Every education system has the same hierarchy of subjects. At the top are mathematics and language, then the humanities and at the bottom, the arts. Even within the arts there’s a hierarchy. Art and music are generally given a higher status than drama and dance. There isn’t an education system in the world that teaches dance everyday, the way we teach mathematics. Why not? Dance is very important as is math. Children dance all the time if they’re allowed to. We all have bodies. As children grow up, we start educating them progressively from the waist up, and then we focus on the heads, and then only one side of the brain.
If you’re a teacher, have children or grandchildren, and even if you look back at your own education, what do you think about education killing creativity?