Going about my day of research on the internet, I happened upon another wonderful resource-TED!
TED began in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference and TEDGlobal — TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.
Basically it is all about sharing ideas through talks. Twice a year, TED holds a conference with thought leaders from around the world who share some of their amazing and often mind-blowing talks. The recordings (videos) are then published online for the rest of the world to learn,enjoy and share! You can even create your own by joining a TEDX event, all absolutely free!
TED-Ideas worth spreading
This brings us to my first TED video for the day with our speaker, Ken Robinson
A bit about Ken, before we begin–
A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government’s 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements. His 2009 book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, is a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into 21 languages. A 10th anniversary edition of his classic work on creativity and innovation, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, was published in 2011. His latest book, Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life, will be published by Viking in May 2013.
This TED talk discusses the thought of schools killing the creativity in our children.
Honestly, at first I wasn’t sure how I’d go with this subject, as I had the idea of it being quite boring…but Ken completely surprised me and I found myself engrossed! He made the whole experience a pleasure, keeping his audience engaged with his humourous approach of some rather serious subjects. His methods held me captivated throughout, and I finished on a high note still able to recount his thoughts on this topic.We are encouraged to question our own thoughts on “creativity” and “education”, whislt chewing over some very interesting points about a system that seems solely designed for the academic basics.
So how important is creativity in the child’s education? Ken believes it to be just as important as literature in education, and should be treated in the same status.”I don’t believe we gorw into creativity, we grow out of it…or rather, we get educated out of it!”
“All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” – Picasso
Having traveled to various countries, Ken notes the fact there are always hierarchies in education, and every system is the same, no matter where you go-
There are the hierarchy of subjects, for example: at the top, you have mathematics and laguages, then humanities while at the bottom, sits the Arts.
There’s even a hierarchy within the arts:Art and music are normally given higher ratings in schools over drama & dance-nowhere on the planet will you find a class that teaches dance, the same way in which it teaches maths. Why? Then again, why not? (yes, Ken…why not indeed?!)
And although Ken acknowledges the importance of mathematics in education, he believes “dance” should share this status. ” As children grow up, we educate them from their waist up…then we focus on their heads(and slightly to one side). If you were to visit education as an “alien”, and asked ‘what’s it all for?’, Think you’d have to conclude the whole purpose of education; throughout the world, is to produce university professors.
A typical professor lives in his head-disembodied in a kind of literal way.”
Benign advice which is profoundly mistaken!
The hiearchy is written on two ideas:
The first, based upon this hiearchy status, the most useful topics to find work would be those placed at the top….”So as a kid, you benignly steered away from the subjects you liked, with fear of not getting a job.” ie: don’t do music, you are not going to be a musician. The second, is the academic ability which has come to dominate our view of intelligence because universities designed the system in their image. Fascinating stuff!
He continues…”If you think about it, there are many talented and quite gifted people who think they’re not…simply because what they were good at, at school wasn’t “valued”-or was actually stigmatised!”
“Can we go on this way” Ken asks…and I answer a defiant “NO”!
In fact in the next thirty years, more people will be graduating through education than since the beginning of history-And it’s the combination of all things discussed thus far-that technology and its transformation effect on demography and the huge population explosion whereby degrees aren’t worth anything-
When Ken was a student, if you had a degree, you had a job. “Yet now, these kids with degrees are usually heading home to play a video game.”
The entire structure of education is shifting thorugh a process of academic inflation so we need to radically re-think our views on intelligence.
Three key points on intelligence:
1. It’s diverse-we think about the world in all the ways we experience it.
2. It’s dynamic-if you look at the brain’s interactions, intelligence is wonderfully interactive. The brain doesn’t divide itself into compartments in fact, more often than not comes about from the interaction of different ways of seeing things.
Creativity is made up of original ideas that have value.
3. It’s distinct-here Ken explains the distinct creativity by sharing a lovely example-story of his friend, the dance/choreographer, Gillian Lynne, who as a child, was considered to be suffering with a “learning problem” but in fact, merely had a love and talent for “dance”. I actually did some ‘multi-tasking’ here, (something Ken mentions women being quite good at…due to us having a larger corpus callosum-we can transfer data between the right and left hemispheres faster than men.) and “googled” for more information which I highly recommend you doing also.
So to sum this all up as best I can using one sentence, we need to re-evaluate our thoughts on the human capacity because human intelligence is very much multi-dimensional!