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Ted Talk, How Schools Kills Creativity

 

Marketing, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, thrives on creative chutzpah, and such boundless imagination fosters a vivacity that didactic teaching cannot. Modern day schools, for example, seem to be built more on merit than on originality. In a highly insightful and thought-provoking talk, Sir Ken Robinson presses on the issue of modern day education, in particular how it serves more to stifle creative potential than to encourage experimentation and individualism. He advocates children pursuing their own interests and talents rather than following what society dictates to be profitable and practical.

 

He states how every education system prizes mathematics and sciences, with humanities and arts being secondary and subordinate. Imagine Shakespeare as a child, and what would have happened if someone had told him to stop writing and he had taken up a different craft. Likewise, children should engage with whatever creative outlet they have, and be allowed to take chances. Children by nature are willing to take risks and think outside the box, yet what education does is instill a fear of failure that prevents originality and vision. Such fear of being wrong ebbs into our national education systems, “where mistakes are the worst thing you can make.”

 

The modern day education system is built around academic ability. Since public schools were built to accommodate industrialization, to meet the needs of society and production. Therefore the subjects that are valued are what are supposedly the most profitable. The consequence is that “many highly-talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not, because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatized.”

 

Sir Robinson identifies three aspects of intelligence: it is diverse, dynamic, and distinct. Children have an incredible aptitude for invention, and Sir Robinson says that these talents are squandered when education equates to conformity and not creativity. Sir Robinson states that he believes that “creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” He concludes with an anecdote about Gillian Lynne, who struggled in school as a child yet eventually became a world-renowned dancer and choreographer. People could have dismissed her as having ADHD, yet when her mother took her to a doctor, he said that Gillian “isn’t sick; she’s a dancer.”

 

Given such insight, it is important for Bay Area schools to be mindful of what builds up rather than breaks down a child’s ability to succeed in whatever talent he or she has. Given the STEM-leaning tendencies of many San Francisco Bay Area schools, and the proximity of both Stanford and Berkeley, children growing up are encouraged to join the Silicon Valley job market as STEM majors. Both schools and businesses in the Bay, by grappling onto these ideas and concepts, can provide a more diverse and holistic model for what constitutes excellence. In the marketing realm as well, creativity eclipses conformity, and what is bold rather than what is safe.

 

Marketing, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, thrives on creative chutzpah, and such boundless imagination fosters a vivacity that didactic teaching cannot. Modern day schools, for example, seem to be built more on merit than on originality. In a highly insightful and thought-provoking talk, Sir Ken Robinson presses on the issue of modern day education, in particular how it serves more to stifle creative potential than to encourage experimentation and individualism. He advocates children pursuing their own interests and talents rather than following what society dictates to be profitable and practical.

 

He states how every education system prizes mathematics and sciences, with humanities and arts being secondary and subordinate. Imagine Shakespeare as a child, and what would have happened if someone had told him to stop writing and he had taken up a different craft. Likewise, children should engage with whatever creative outlet they have, and be allowed to take chances. Children by nature are willing to take risks and think outside the box, yet what education does is instill a fear of failure that prevents originality and vision. Such fear of being wrong ebbs into our national education systems, “where mistakes are the worst thing you can make.”

 

The modern day education system is built around academic ability. Since public schools were built to accommodate industrialization, to meet the needs of society and production. Therefore the subjects that are valued are what are supposedly the most profitable. The consequence is that “many highly-talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not, because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatized.”

 

Sir Robinson identifies three aspects of intelligence: it is diverse, dynamic, and distinct. Children have an incredible aptitude for invention, and Sir Robinson says that these talents are squandered when education equates to conformity and not creativity. Sir Robinson states that he believes that “creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” He concludes with an anecdote about Gillian Lynne, who struggled in school as a child yet eventually became a world-renowned dancer and choreographer. People could have dismissed her as having ADHD, yet when her mother took her to a doctor, he said that Gillian “isn’t sick; she’s a dancer.”

 

Given such insight, it is important for Bay Area schools to be mindful of what builds up rather than breaks down a child’s ability to succeed in whatever talent he or she has. Given the STEM-leaning tendencies of many San Francisco Bay Area schools, and the proximity of both Stanford and Berkeley, children growing up are encouraged to join the Silicon Valley job market as STEM majors. Both schools and businesses in the Bay, by grappling onto these ideas and concepts, can provide a more diverse and holistic model for what constitutes excellence. In the marketing realm as well, creativity eclipses conformity, and what is bold rather than what is safe.

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