Sunday, February 24, 2013

Creativity, Value Education, Re-imagining Schools, and Applied Imagination

Do Schools Kill Creativity?
By far, one of the most inspiring keynote addresses that sets the tone for all others on this site.  It is a call-to-arms for educators, parents, administrators and policy-makers as it touches on all topics of crucial interest to anyone interested in 21st century learning and the future of our children.  Unbelievably, Sir Ken Robinson delivered this address back in 2006 - it is even more relevant today than it was back then.

Mae Jemison is an astronaut, a doctor, an art collector, a dancer ... Telling stories from her own education and from her time in space, she calls on educators to teach both the arts and sciences, both intuition and logic, as one -- to create bold thinkers.

"If organizations are truly interested in creativity and innovation, give your people training programs in the techniques of creative thinking ... Don't hope for it; train people for it."

"A creative leader isn't somebody who tells people what to do ... the job of a creative leader is to create the conditions under which people will show discretions and will show discretionary effort."

"The role of the creative leader is to not have all the ideas; it's to create a culture where everybody will have ideas."

All over the world, there's a growing consensus that our education systems are broken.  These educators offer lessons in how we might re-imagine school.

(Learning without Frontiers: Ken Robinson)

The value of the arts ... what's the academic value?? Why are some subjects valued more than others? We need an argument for balance or a more holistic approach to education.  Why are the arts commonly treated as an "extra" as to opposed to the priority? Why are the arts not funded like Math, Science, and Language?? Why do we hope that our students will take the arts with their optional courses? Why is it that we don't hope our students take math, but instead make such subjects compulsory?

So, the question remains: Why in our view of education, do we default to the so-called basic subjects or components of the curriculum from the 19th century when we trying to get our students ready for the 21st century??? 

We need a framework that facilitates balance and what we value - we need "Curriculum for Excellence" ... a sound conception to include and value all disciplines/subjects on equal footing. 

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