November 14, 2009

Does School Kill Creativity?

This TED talk by Ken Robinson from 2006 is about creativity, how to nurture it and what our school system does to it. Insightful. Very Funny


Some great quotes from the talk:

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original.”
“We stigmatize mistakes.”
“We are educating people out of the creative capacities”
“We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather we get educated out of it”

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Robert J. McCarter

Robert J. McCarter is the author of more than ten novels and over a hundred short stories...... learn more

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  1. Interesting video. Never heard of this person before, and he makes some great points.

    I think the problem I always personally encounter is that there is never an ideal fusion between the everyday work that must get done, and having time left over to actually “switch on” the creative side, and be creative in some capacity.

    In a post-scarcity, Star Trek type economy, everybody could more or less be creative whenever they wanted to be, because machines would do almost all of the grunt work — to include replication of food and other consumables — thus freeing people to essentially spend every day doing precisely what they want to do, with few intrusions.

    Alas, almost all of us spend our days doing all kinds of things we’d rather not be doing. Be it the day job, or even simple stuff like house chores, etc.

    I have concluded that this is simply part of being in the world. If I catch myself being miffed at having to spend so much time doing work that is boring or non-creative, I try to use that as fuel for the writing so that maybe some day, if I bust my butt and have a bit of luck, I can quit the boring day job and live more fully as a creatively-engaged, financially-successful person.

    1. I think it is possible to cultivate creativity in areas that don’t, at first, seem creative.

      For example, the main source of heat in my house is a wood-stove. This entails a lot of time and energy for me during the winter. Every year I try to get “creative” with it and improve the process. This year I used some old fencing poles and a tarp to create a structured covering for the wood pile. This way I won’t have to dig out the pile after very snow (with just a tarp thrown over it as the pile gets smaller more and more of the tarp gets buried by the snow, blocking access to the pile.) What I really want is a wood shed, but I haven’t had the time for that big of a project, so to do something I had to get creative. It is going to make my life easier for months to come, and it turned the “chore” of stacking and splitting the wood into something much more fun.

      Writing builds the creative muscle, but so do a lot of other things. If I can’t be creative I get bored; so I try my best to be creative—at least a little—in everything I do.

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