Christian Long

Ken Robinson: Schools Kill Creativity

In TED Talks on May 22, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Reflection by EMMA L.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Ken Robinson:  Schools Kill Creativity

Out of all of the TED talks I have reflected on this one I feel the most attached and linked to in an emotional way. All of the TED talks have an underlining theme: Creativity. I chose these videos because my passion is to express my creativity in ways like acting, creating children’s books as well as performing on the field because I believe that if an athlete is not creative, then they will never reach their goal of victory.

Creativity has many different connotations that are expressed through the individual. To have one universal denotation of the word would not be a valid definition of what creativity encompasses.

Education fuels the creativity within one’s self. Without it, what would allow our minds to be exposed to the numerous ways to be creative in order for one to create their own masterpiece based on their talent and beliefs?

This starts with our children. There are examples everywhere in the world that displays the extraordinary capacities that children encompass as well as their ability to dream and create. From children like Adora Svitak to the quiet child who sits in the corner and draws to their hearts content, children have the ability to not be afraid to do what they love.

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original”

“We don’t grow into creativity we are educated out of it”

These quotes articulate how society ingrains fear into children of being wrong and making too many mistakes. This all starts out in the Education system. The drive of becoming perfect and the best outweighs the talents children have to offer. If a child enjoys the game of soccer, allow him/her to practice, be part of a team because once a child gets into the mindset of an adult, it is hard to take a step back and know when enough is enough. The pressure and expectations of children are also either too much or too little. Whether parents enroll their children into the top notch advance classes or take little interest in their academic life or life in general are depriving children of their passions and love of life.

Adults have lost the capacity to admit they are wrong or to take risks that could change the world because of the fear of being different. Being unique is what makes one who they are. If everyone was the same, there would be no creative ideas and the result could turn into a 1984 situation. In literature, which character is in a sense the one who succeeds or learns the valuable lesson in the end? The unique/ different characters. If you play follow the leader your whole life, how are you suppose to show your future bosses and the world what advantage YOU bring to the table? Uniqueness and creativity go hand in hand.

Sir Ken Robinson is writing a book called “Epiphany,” which is based on a series of interviews with people about how they discovered their talent. A woman named Gillian Lynne was asked how she became the dancer/ the chorographer of “Cats” and “Phantom of the Opera”. She said when she was a little girl her school, in the ’30s, wrote to her parents and said, “We think Gillian has a learning disorder.” She couldn’t concentrate, she was fidgeting. If someone was to observe her now they would say she had ADHD. But this was the 1930s, and ADHD was not a condition you could have. Her mother brought her to a specialist who showed her something remarkable. He took her mother out of the room and turned on the radio. The minute they left the room Gillian was on her feet, moving to the music. After a few minutes the specialist turned to her mother and said, “Mrs. Lynne, Gillian isn’t sick, she’s a dancer. Take her to a dance school.” If it were not for the specialist, somebody else might have put her on medication and told her to calm down thus not discovering her talent.

We have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we’re educating our children. As said by Sir Robinson himself “Our task is to educate their whole being, so they can face this future and even though we may not see this future they will. Our job is to help them make something of it.”


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