Blog about Ken Robinson’s talk – schools kill creativity – on ‘TED’

How the school system devalues creative intelligence

The first time I watched this talk I was in bed. I found myself expressing my thoughts in too loud a voice – nothing new there. “Yes” and “exactly” and “THANK you” echoed around the room.  By the end of the talk I could sleep feeling both relieved and inspired that someone of stature had finally talked about, ‘ the elephant in the room’.
In his talk Sir Ken Robinson was expressing feelings and conversations from my past as a learner,  from my present as a specialist teacher and my concerns for the future educational experiences of my daughters. At some points I may have had a bit of a snivel but I laughed too. It felt like it was a personal chat rather than a “traditional” lecture that not only fitted my preferred learning style but perfectly fitted the message of the piece… naturally.

We can do things differently. Education as a whole, not just individuals, should facilitate a different approach to the tasks and assignments currently set by schools and universities. Assessment methods should encourage creativity and, more importantly, reward it when it is presented  rather than  ridicule it or deem it  less academically worthy.

In his talk Sir/Prof Ken Robinson recognises and celebrates multiple types of intelligence. This post has been viewed on TED nearly 15 million times.  There are follow up talks – check out the one in 201o. As great as this is I do feel somewhat frustrated that in many areas these ideas have not yet come to fruition. The current debate around GCSE’s is testament to that as is the difficulty in securing alternative assessment methods for university students who have dyslexia or dyspraxia.

In the meantime I will continue to encourage, cajole, persuade the students I support to embrace their creativity. Nurture their fragile  self-belief to work in way that supports their learning and understanding even though it might be seen by others as less academically worthy. In essence, the ethos of Diverse-Learners: support – confidence – achievement.

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