Educated out of creativity is an expression I’ve borrowed from Ken Robinson who presented a Ted Talk called ‘How Schools kill creativity’. He believes everyone is born creative, I agree. Firstly because the Bible says so and secondly because I witness it all around me on a daily basis. The very first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1 describes a creative act, "God created the heavens and the earth." Then verse 27 says, "God created man in his own image." We are therefore also creators (having creativity) because God made us in his Creator image.
So if we have creative ability – a logical question would be, ‘Why, what for?’ followed closely by, ‘How do we develop or harness it?’ which brings me to the subject of this post. We have somehow been educated out of one of humanity’s greatest gifts. Creativity.
Here’s my point: traditional education systems have failed us, failed our children and are impeding the innovation required to navigate through an increasingly volatile, uncertain, chaotic and ambiguous future.
Why do I think so?
Young children buzz with ideas, playfulness and energy... yet as they go to school, they begin to lose the freedom to explore, take risks and experiment.
Do you wonder why?
The sad truth is that schools were never designed to produce creativity. Children were taught to obey, not to challenge or think creatively. We spend our childhoods being taught the artificial skill of passing exams. We learn to give teachers what they expect. By the time we get into working world, we’ve been conditioned to conform and regurgitate the formulas required for specific outcomes. Those who can do so accurately and fast are considered intelligent.
Today’s education model was originally designed to develop skills needed to grow and sustain the industrial revolution. We have moved on in 300 years - now into the 4th Industrial Revolution requiring significantly different skills sets that can no longer be achieved using the same old systems. As Einsten said, it is insanity to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results.
Today’s businesses are looking for more than graduates who can do specific tasks. They want employees who can think differently and innovate. But our schools are struggling to nurture these thinkers.
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