zenpundit.com » 2007 » March » 6

Archive for March 6th, 2007

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

WHY SCHOOLS KILL CREATIVITY – BUT THEY DON’T HAVE TO

I watched this highly enjoyable TED presentation by Sir Ken Robinson at Dr. Florida’s Creative Class blog. Robinson has a solid critique that he delivers with gentle humor

Reproducing my comments at Creative Class, Creativity, in my humble opinion comes in several variants – generative insight, synthesis, tweaking/tinkering and the collective, stochastic/stigmergic, version of tweaking you see in open-source and/or market based “accumulated wisdom” forms of cultural evolution. They are not all the same thing nor do they, in my very limited experience of reviewing studies, look the same in MRI brain studies of cognitive tasks

Public education is not currently designed to promote any of these forms of creativity, though some instructors do. Instead the cognitive emphasis is on recall and at best, application and analysis. Certainly useful thinking skills but not the only ones students should have in their kit.

The good news is that these forms of creativity are not that hard to teach students to practice but the incentives to do so aren’t there for teachers or professors. With the former group, NCLB pressure mitigates against doing so; with the latter, the publish or perish ethic makes teaching itself an irrelevance at worst and a minor positive at best.


Switch to our mobile site