Thursday, 24 June 2010

Does education kill creativity?

If you're an educator, you must watch this video! If you're a student, watch and see if you agree with the speaker. Subtitles are available in several languages, but I'd suggest you try English first.

Now that the school year has ended, you can spare these few minutes to listen to what Sir Ken Robinson has to say. And, he's so hilarious! To be a good public speaker is a great talent, but to be a funny one is even more admirable.

Those who have heard Sir Ken before know that he's rather wonderful with quotes, and here he makes no exceptions, and uses Yeats' Cloths of Heavens (1899) and Abraham Lincoln's message to congress just one month before signing the Emancipation Proclamation (1862) to great effect.

"Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."
- William Butler Yeats (The Wind Among the Reeds 1899)

"The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disentrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."
- Abraham Lincoln's Annual Message to Congress -- Concluding Remarks, 1862

Now, after watching that, you must be curious about his other talk, so here it is, the one he gave in 2006:

So, what are your opinions? Is Sir Ken right? Is education too academically orientated? Are we stifling creativity in our children? Your opinions, as usual, will be most appreciated.

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