Creativity versus Literacy

I came across this video of Sir Ken Robinson speaking about how schools kill creativity.

He contends that more emphasis should be placed on teaching creativity in schools, and that teaching creativity should be as important as teaching literacy.

Here are some of his other key thoughts and insights:

The great thing about children is that if they don’t know, at least they’ll have a go – “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.” – Sir Ken Robinson

Unfortunately, by the time we become adults, most of us lose this capacity.

“We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it, or we are educated out of it.” – Sir Ken Robinson

We are educating people out of their creative capacities.

Every society has the same heirarchy of educational subjects:

  1. Mathematics and Languages
  2. Humanities
  3. Arts
    • Art and Music
    • Drama and Dance

As children grow up we start to educate them from the waist up, then just their heads, and then we focus slightly to one side. Meaning that the most successful people produced by this system end up being university professors who live in their heads and view their bodies as transport systems for their heads.

The public education system was created during the industrial revolution and primarily serves to educate the workforce and to serve as a protracted process of university entrance.

The consequence is that many brilliant, talented, creative people are left feeling that they are not.

At the same time we are going through a period of academic inflation – the jobs that used to require a bachelor’s degree now require a master’s and those that used to require a master’s now require a PhD.

We need to think about intelligence differently. Intelligence is dynamic, interactive, and inter-disciplinary.

“Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value.” – Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson has collected a lot of this thinking into a book called The Element.

What do you think?

Braden (@innovate on Twitter)

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Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a Design Thinking, Innovation and Transformation Consultant, a popular innovation speaker and workshop leader, and helps companies use Human-Centered Change™ to beat the 70% change failure rate. He is the author of Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan and Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.

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