October 27, 2012
Creativity in Our Schools
Sir Ken Robinson’s lecture “Schools Kill Creativity,” on why schools should change is extremely interesting. He mixed humor into his speeches which enabled him to keep the audience interested in what he was saying. Although he stated truths about our current educational system, Robinson does not give any concrete ways to approach the change within our system. How can we bring education into the 21st century? It’s a mind boggling thought. Educators are already coming together and brainstorming reforms within the current educational system. It will take many years, however, before the new standards are incorporated in our schools.
The world changed over a decade ago, however education has failed to keep up with the demands for student success. Robinson stated that “fertile minds need feeding” (Robinson). He’s right. How do we keep children with active imaginations from becoming bored? Intelligence is “diverse, dynamic, and distinct” (Robinson). Others also agree with him. Sir Jim Rose is highly regarded in the educational community. He is formally Her Majesty Inspector and Director O\of Inspection for the office for Standards in Education. Rose is currently President of the National Foundation for Educational Research in Great Britain. He recommends moving away from “subjects” (Shepherd). He reported that, “bloated curriculum was leaving children with shallow knowledge and understanding” (Shepherd).
First, Robinson speaks of children’s creativity. They are “not afraid of making mistakes” (Robinson). That, I believe, is the curious aspect of a child’s thinking process. In a child’s mind there is a wonder and an eagerness which is eventually stifled by our current system. “Curriculums should be much more personalized,” argues Robinson (Shepherd). He also states, “Learning happens in the minds and the souls, not the database of multiple-choice tests” (Shepherd). I would have to agree, the word “test”, or pop quiz can have a negative effect upon a child. Some, like me, “freeze” while others excel. Can taking tests be a true picture of what children really know?
Secondly, schools around the world focus more on the main subjects of reading, writing, and math (Galanis). Science also plays an important role in the educational process. I think children need more than these main subjects. “Music, dance, and art can benefit children of all ages,” noted Robinson (Galanis). I believe if they can integrate more subjects that children find appealing, they would excel in school. Physical Education is another important class for children to take. With the obesity epidemic in the United States, physical education should be offered on a daily basis rather than 2 or 3 times a week. Exercise would also give the children a way to get rid of the excess energy they have built up from sitting long periods of time in their classes.
Thirdly, Robinson speaks of children learning on different levels. Everyone he announced “absorbs knowledge differently” (Shepherd). If a child becomes bored, their minds tend to drift away. During this time if they are bored, no knowledge will be absorbed by the child. This can cause frustration in children, and it can also lower their self-esteem.
Fourth, Robinson speaks about teachers. The classrooms are overcrowded and some children fall through the cracks unnoticed. This is unfortunate. He states, “These children grow to adulthood not prepared for the challenges life will bring” (Robinson). Teachers play an important role in a child’s education. A negative response to a child can crush their creativity. I unfortunately know this first hand. When I was in 4th grade my art teacher had us pick a picture to draw. My assignment was to draw a rose. There was no depth or definition to the picture I was given, so I decided to draw a rose from my grandmother’s garden. I took a chair outside along with my pencil and paper and...