TED talk: Nurturing Creativity in Education
April 15, 2010 7:54 PM   Subscribe

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity. (c. 2007 SLYT TED talk)
posted by snsranch (5 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
This is good. This makes me not want to make my 7 year old correct her backwards numbers on her homework.

This makes me hate even more that my 7 year old has homework.
posted by jeoc at 8:48 PM on April 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I loved this talk. I work with kids, and my favorite children to talk with are the ones who still have an imagination, as opposed to the ones who can only tell stories that are the plots of movies and video games.
posted by too bad you're not me at 8:53 PM on April 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

I really like his cutting-edge "if a man says something and no woman is there to hear it, is he still wrong?" joke. What a clever fellow.

He is funny, though his talk is really just a series of hilarious anecdotes with little substance.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:14 PM on April 15, 2010

The speech is a little threadbare for a twenty-minute piece, I think.

Schools do tend towards killing creativity, but the why and the how of it are somehow avoided by The Sir. The fact that he is a Sir has something to do with the content-free nature of his speech. Yes, I am engaging in class warfare.
posted by kozad at 9:34 PM on April 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

I did some work a couple of years ago for an organisation which promoted creativity in schools, taking this TED talk as a central part of their ethos. In short, what I discovered was this: the fostering of creativity in education, both for its own sake and as a universally applicable tool across all curriculum areas, is something that benefits children, teachers and school management. It's also something that, fairly uniquely, all of the above groups tend to be in favour of.

However, any attempt to integrate creativity into education in a significant and sustainable way comes up against unavoidable obstacles placed there by central government – namely, the focus on attainment data (not attainment – attainment data) and league tables as a measure of schools' success. Even in a climate of educational reform where Ofsted (that's the Office for Standards in Education, for any non-UKians) encourages schools to pursue creative teaching and learning and the government funds ambitious, large-scale programmes to form links between schools and creative practitioners (like the one I was involved in), progress is hampered by the pressure put on schools to churn out high attainment data regardless of the quality and depth of children's experience of education.

Schools in the UK (and I'm sure this must be true for other countries as well) have for years been focused on teaching children how to do well in exams and, increasingly, how to get a job. A far more valuable aim, however – the aim most teachers want to be pursuing – is teaching children how to live and how to think. The skills associated with creativity – critical thinking, invention, empathy, self-awareness – are key to this.
posted by him at 2:52 AM on April 16, 2010

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