Tag Archives: Mary-Rose MacColl

What is education, anyway? Pt.1

One of my favourite talks about education is a TED talk given by Ken Robinson in 2006 “How schools kill creativity”.

His contention is that

“creativity . . . is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”

Although the video has had more than 21 million views (while quite a few of them mine, nowhere near that number!) and drawn over 3 000 comments during the last 8 years, his views need to reach a wider audience still; an audience with the power to enact change.
One thing I had always loved about teaching was the opportunity to express myself creatively, and to encourage my students to do the same. Unfortunately the current emphasis on a content-driven, top-down approach where test results reign supreme has left little room for anyone’s creativity. I am not saying there was ever much opportunity for creativity in formal schooling, but creative teachers could always squeeze a bit it. Now the opportunities for creative “massage” are few.
My optimism for positive change in education is always raised when I read or hear of others who share similar views. I think if enough voices are heard chanting the same message that a change may come.
This post (and article in Saturday’s QWeekend magazine) by Mary-Rose Maccoll “Why Banff means the World” also proclaims the vision of Ken Robinson. Mary-Rose is another fan.
She says that

“Being at the Banff Centre (in Canada) has made me reflect on what we lose when we don’t foster art, when we don’t foster creativity. And what we lose is the world.”

She says that

“even as school education becomes increasingly narrow in its focus, we’re also seeing a decline in performance on the very outcomes that standardisation seeks to improve.”

She concludes by saying,

“As I sit in my room and watch the mountains, listening to the trail of a contraband sax down the hall (you’re supposed to play in the soundproofed studios in the forest), reading a piece by a Scottish writer, I am grateful for artists. In our 21st century world, we surely need them.”

I agree wholeheartedly as, I’m sure would Ken Robinson, along with Teachling whose post What is Education, anyway?Pt 1 I reblog for you here.

I agree with Teachling’s belief that

“many teachers would feel that – as well as their students’ innate talents and creativity being snuffed – their own talents and creativity don’t get much of a look-in. I believe most teachers are very restricted in terms of what they teach as well as how they teach it.”

I also agree with her when she states that

“that there’s very little teachers can do about it.

It’s the administrators and politicians that should take Robinson’s advice. It’s also the perceptions of a majority of parents that would need to vastly change if any rethinking of fundamental principles were to occur.”

Have a listen to Ken and read these other posts, then let me know what you think.

How can we make our voices be heard to ensure that creativity and innovation is not lost for the future?


Ken Robinson’s take on schools, and how they kill creativity…

You’re likely one of the 20,738,467 viewers of Ken Robinson’s “Schools Kill Creativity” 2006 TED Talk. Robinson’s assertion, and general gist of the talk, is that “all kids have tremendous talents, and we squander them; pretty ruthlessly”. The “we”, we can infer from the rest of his talk, are schools.

Let me pick out some key points:
• “My contention is that creativity, now, is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”
• “We are educating people out of their creative capacities.”
• “Every education system on Earth has the same hierarchy of subjects… At the top are Mathematics and Languages, then the Humanities and at the bottom are the Arts… And in pretty much every education system there’s a hierarchy within the Arts. Art and Music are normally given a higher…

View original post 423 more words