Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

A reflection by Joel Bevans about Sir Ken Robinson's 2006 TED talk "Schools Kill Creativity"

Sir Ken Robinson makes the point that the future is an unknown quantity. I agree. We do not know what sort of jobs will be available in 5 years time let alone 15 years time. This uncertainty means that education must change. It can no longer simply give children facts that will mean nothing for them in their jobs and in their workplace. for the students who we are teaching. Instead give them opportunities to practice the skills which they will need in later life such as critical thinking and creativity.

Sir Ken Robinson talks about young children not being frightened to get something wrong. Again I agree. I work with Early Years children and the youngest learners in our schools are happy to take risks, make mistakes; they are not frightened to be wrong. But later on in school is this the case? Does school make it not OK to make mistakes? Does it program you into giving the answer that the teacher wants to hear? I think it does. As teachers we can have a predetermined answer in our mind as we ask a question. Do we allow for creativity in the answer? Schools need to be more flexible and allow for more creative freedom in answers, ideas. There should not be one way to answer any question.

Teaching grit and resolve to students will only help to continue to foster creativity in education.

"Picasso once said this, he said that all children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up. I believe this passionately, that we don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out of it." Sir Ken Robinson 2006.

The education system does not recognise individual talent and ideas. If it does not fit into a box, a rubric, a continuum then what? Children quickly learn that to be successful in schools them may not have to think creatively but may have to remember 20 facts that they may never ever use again in their lives.

Schools and teachers need to be better at understanding the individual talents that children have and not labeling children because they do not fit into a neat tidy box.

Sir Ken Robinson talks about all education systems begining with languages and mathematics. He is right. That is always the core in almost every educational setting in the world. Why is that? Does that meet the needs of all the diverse learners in our class or school? I think he makes a valid point when he discusses why shouldn't dance be held in the same regard as mathematics. Movement is vital for learning anything so why are certain subject areas held in such regard while others less so? Who made these rules? If we are doing this do we meet the needs of all our children? I don't think we do. Surely we need to give children choice to follow what is important to them.

"Our education system has mined our minds in the way that we strip-mine the earth: for a particular commodity. And for the future, it won't serve us. We have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we're educating our children." Sir Ken Robinson 2006

Again I think Sir Ken Robinson is correct. Schools seem to produce the same sort of person. Some schools produce lawyers, others accountants, other doctors. It is almost embeded in a school that this is what we do and this what we produce. But being like this stifles creativity. 80 students leaving a school at 16 or years old can and should not be the same. How will that serve us for the future?

I think back to my time in secondary school and my school could not understand or respond to the needs to any student who did not tick the boxes ( me included). I loved the social element of this school but the education element I hated. The could not see past the fact that this piece of work has to look like this or this assignment has to include this. Where is the creativity and original thinking in that ?

Do we really want to produce children who are the same? No is the answer I believe we need to listen, understand them and foster their interests so that their creativity can blossom for the benefit of the world.

I think Sir Ken Robinson's video is inspirational and a huge game changer in education. It has brought creativity and innovation back on to the map of educators across the world. Teachers and schools are changing and seeing the real benefits of teaching for creativity. We have to prepare our students for tomorrow by giving them skills that are going to be relevant in their lifetime and beyond.

Created By
Joel Bevans


Created with images by TeroVesalainen - "mindmap brainstorm idea" • adihrespati - "Ideas never run out" • Alexas_Fotos - "idea light bulb enlightenment" • qimono - "idea empty paper" • zappowbang - "idea" • geralt - "gears logo concept" • cogdogblog - "Get Creative!"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.