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Do Schools Kill Creativity? - Ken Robinson

What you would typically expect from a TED talk are insights and ideas for the greater good. What you would not expect is lots of humor.

This TED talk by Ken Robinson, a British author, educationist and speaker has all these elements in it, to the point where the monologue is as vivacious as it is vital.

Ken argues that all children are born with varying extraordinary capabilities, but our archaic education system crushes many of them. He states that "being creative doesn't mean being wrong, but if one is not willing to take the risk of being wrong then they'll never come up with something original." He tells about a little girl who voluntarily starts drawing something on paper. When asked by her teacher, she answers "I’m drawing a picture of god." The teacher replies “But no one knows how god looks like" and the girls says "They will, in a minute." This anecdote goes to show that children are not scared of being wrong and willing to take a chance. But thanks to the education system which stigmatizes mistakes, most students eventually lose that capability. Picasso said, "all children are born creative, the challenge is to remain so as they grow up".

He opines that the subject hierarchy is the same all across the globe - focusing on only one side of our brain. The reason is that the whole education system was commenced around the 19th century to meet the needs of industrialism and economic feasibility. Consequently, many highly talented and creative individuals believe that they are not so if their skills did not fit those specific needs.

Perhaps the greatest goal for humans in the 19th century was achieving higher productivity. But today, we require better levels of economic and social equality, sustainability, and better morale - else the planet won't remain our home for long. Ken ends with the reiteration that the only way to avoid the further degradation of our being is "by seeing our creative capacities for the richness they are and seeing our children for the hope that they are, and our task is to educate their whole being so they can face this future better."

Credits -

Shraey Gangwar

Batch 2021 - 2023

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