Tech Task #3 – Media Response

22 Jan

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson begins his presentation by sharing stories of children who make humourous mistakes.  His point in sharing these stories is the fact that children aren’t afraid to be wrong.  He then explains that he doesn’t equate being wrong to being creative; if we are always scared of being wrong then we will never create anything new.  He argues that schools promote a fear of being wrong.  Some students are afraid of being ridiculed for making mistakes or afraid to challenge the norm.  Robinson suggests that children grow out of their creativity and lose most of their original thinking by the time they reach adulthood.  He then identifies the hierarchy of classes that are present in many schools, with the Mathematics and Science classes at the top.  The speaker states that this hierarchy is due to the fact that these are the classes that traditionally could get you a job.  Robinson concludes with the wonderful story of Gillian Lynne (the choreographer of Cats) and how a doctor discovered her talent as a dancer.

I agree with Robinson that most schools kill creativity, especially elementary schools.  Many schools do not include the arts in their class schedules as much as Mathematics, Science, or English.  I would even argue that there is even a hierarchy within the arts, with visual art at the top and dance near the bottom.  Therefore, students may not be recieving the education they need to support their creativity.  As Robinson states, creativity is essential in the creation of new ideas and advancements.  We need schools to support our students’ creativity – we cannot move forward as a society without innovative minds.

Even though I agree with Robinson, I feel as if he is putting a great deal of blame on schools.  I have noticed that many people like to blame the schools for all of society’s problems.  Yes, schools have a huge impact on society but they are not responsible for all of the world’s problems.  Our society values the subjects at the top of the hierarchy, and so that reflects what we, the people, value.  For example, I believe many parents would be upset if schools decided to decrease the amount of time spent on Mathematics and replace it with the arts.  I am not sharing this example to provide an excuse for the schools but I believe it is the truth.  I wish there was more equality in the allocation of time for subjects, but as most of us know, this is not the case.  In my opinion, our society would have to change our values if we want schools to do the same.  Schools reflect society and we are society.

Challenge your students to think "outside of the box"

Lastly, I would like to share a few of my personal experiences in relation to the video. I have always loved the arts and have been involved in dance, music, drama, and visual art.  My parents have always supported me in engaging in the arts but never encouraged me to attempt a career in such an area.  As Robinson described, children are not usually encouraged to think of the arts as something that could result in a stable career.  However, I remember wishing that I was talented enough to be a professional dancer.  I hope that one day schools can become fully supportive in helping all students become whoever they want to be.  I am very appreciative that I have found a career that I am extremely passioniate about – I can even share my other passion of dance with my students!  I am curious to see what our schools will look like ten years from now since I know they will be filled with fresh and progressive teachers.:)



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