Do Schools Kill Creativity?

     I found Sir Ken Robinson's talk to be extremely inspiring, motivating, and eye-opening. His perspective on the current school system (and the world) is something I had never even considered, but after listening believe it to be spot on. I had just been accepting the way the world worked and never thought to question it. Now I have an entirely new outlook on who I want to be as an educator (and as a member of society in general).

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once you grow up." - Pablo Picasso

"We get educated out of creativity" - Sir Ken Robinson

     These quotes (along with many others in the video) really stuck with me. The entire section where Robinson spoke about how children are steered away from things they like because they won't find a job doing "that" is something that I have found to be true throughout my 21 years. It is the way of the school system to create "cookie-cutter" simply look for and cultivate certain qualities and skills that society sees as the "norm" and as "good". It is completely true that wanting to be things like artists or musicians or other "far-fetched" occupations is seen as a somewhat impossible dream and is hardly ever taken seriously. I can only imagine the wasted talents and dreams of children that never had the chance to take shape...these people could have changed the world - or their world at least. The chance to explore their interests and do what makes them happy could make all the difference in peoples lives. 

     The way we go through life now is like going through a factory - or I feel like it is anyway. In my life it was grade school and then "of course" onto university because that is the next step - there was no other option. This worked out fine for me, but university isn't right for a lot of people. Sure, we can all be proud of ourselves for being here, but it shouldn't necessarily be seen as better than something else. It just so happens that this was our dream and going to university is the path you have to take if you want become a teacher. Taking a different path to do what you love shouldn't be frowned upon...many people just feel that school isn't right for them or might have been turned off by how their dreams or ideas were degraded. Additionally, people learn in different ways and have different strengths. This is frequently ignored in the school setting, where children are often taught using the same approach but are still expected to give the same results. It is no wonder so many people are left with negative feelings when it comes to school - they are told what they want to do when they grow up is impossible, that they have to be a certain way, and they have to learn like everyone else. Perhaps if we begin to change how schools are run and our views on what it is really for, school might be "right" and a positive experience for everyone. If we begin to not only allow children the freedom to discover and unlock what they are passionate about in their own way, but encourage them to do so, we will be promoting their creativity and enriching their lives. And if we can change the way we teach lessons and curriculum content to be more dynamic and inclusive of all types of learning, we will be changing the future of each student that passes through our classrooms and the future of our world. 

     I have always wanted to be a teacher, but there are many other things I have dreamed of doing with my life. Some of these things include: World traveler, dancer, choreographer, artist (drawing and painting), photographer, makeup artist, working for a magazine, interior designer, news anchor, actress, radio host, hair dresser, author/illustrator, song writer, flight attendant, psychologist, massage therapist...and many more. I would also like to travel. This video really inspired me and made me feel like maybe some of these dreams aren't as "silly" as I was lead to believe. I see my future as being wide-open...I'm not sure where I want to start, but what I do know is it's not too late. I definitely want to experience some of these things, whether in my free time as an educator or before I settle down. I hope to maintain this outlook of my future as being limitless for the rest of my life. If I can give any advice to the people reading this blog: dream big and do what inspires you and makes you happy - it's not too late! And pass that message on to your future (or current) never know how it could change their lives!


     Why would we be shown this video in a class about teaching children mathematics? I thought of many possibilities. One of the more obvious reasons that came to mind was to get us to recognize the importance of creativity and dynamics as future math teachers. As we learned when considering and discussing our own experiences with math, many people have had negative experiences. Math needs to be taught in various ways to encompass the diverse needs of all students. We also need to create environments where children are not afraid to make mistakes. I imagine that Dr. Stordy also realizes the value of other subjects and believes that we should apply this view to all subjects in general. 
Some other reasons I thought might be possible are:
- Our responses to the video allow others to get to know us better and give us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves, both as students and future educators.
- This video is a good way to introduce a course which many students feel intimidated by and may be scared to be "wrong".
- Dr. Stordy knows that math isn't the be all end all - everyone has different strengths and interests.
- The video gave us the chance to reflect on our lives outside of math and even outside of being future teachers. 

Italy Painting - Sarah Kikuchi

No comments:

Post a Comment