Do Schools Kill Creativity?

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Sitting in a darkened classroom, watching a video the professor has planned for us, we are introduced to a lovely British gentleman named Sir Ken Robinson. In this video, particularly, he begins to deliver a speech titled “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” he opens with the joke “If you’re at a dinner party, and you say you work in education — actually, you’re not often at dinner parties, frankly, if you work in education. You’re not asked. And you’re never asked back, curiously. That’s strange to me,” and continues on to say, “But if you are, and you say to somebody, you know, they say, ‘What do you do?’ and you say you work in education, you can see the blood run from their face. They’re like, ‘Oh my God,’ you know, ‘Why me? My one night out all week.’” While the main meat of his speech is how the education system, while forcing what we know as core curriculum upon our children and downplaying the function and usefulness of the arts, should be encouraging the “well-roundedness” of our children for future successes, I agree with his sentiment but have sensed an underlying argument. The argument to which I am referring is the treatment of teachers as a whole and their role in education versus the “killing of the creative mind.” Particularly, that the treatment and respect or lack thereof of educational professionals, along with the stresses of standardized testing, are fostering an environment in which this is occurring and if it can be remedied. To begin with the former, the treatment and amount of respect an educational professional may or may not be receiving, one article from Education International shows that “Among the results for the United States and other countries around the world, figures show that only 34 percent of teacher... ... middle of paper ... ... are enlisted to shape them, there must be a change made to our current system. The remedy, in this case, is to lessen the stress imparted upon our teachers and give them proper accolades, and then maybe, just maybe, it won 't seem that they are the killers of the creative mind, but the nurturers of them. Robinson relays it best in saying “I believe our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology, one in which we start to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity. Our education system has mined our minds in the way that we strip-mine the earth: for a particular commodity. And for the future, it won’t serve us.” To readdress the original question that He poses in his talk, “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” My answer is a solid yes, but we can change the system to fix the problem. We just have to realize and admit there is one.
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