Schools are killing creativity among students, says Sir Ken Robinson, creativity expert who was knighted for his leadership of the British government’s 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy.
In his February 2006 presentation at Ted, ideas worth spreading, http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html, Ken explains we aren’t helping children following their passions and dreams. “Students with restless minds and bodies — far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity — are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences. We are educating people out of their creativity,” Robinson says.
The message he delivers is – Educate your child’s whole being.
Let children explore their passions. Find out what gets them excited and help them learn more. Let them be curious, to express themselves outwardly, to problem solve. If we guide them too much or force them into our ideas, they won’t grow into their full potential and possibly squash their happiness.
Does your child like to listen to stories and then make up their own? Have you tried encouraging them to write a story or a play or draw a picture illustrating their story?
Does your child like to take things apart or build? How much do you help them or simply encourage?
Does your child ask a lot of questions? Can they find the answers they are looking for? Are they encouraged to continue to ask questions and seek answers?
Help your child explore their own interests. Encourage them to think, work towards solutions, write and question. With your support (not doing it for them), you could be surprised at the potential your child rises to – a scientist, a journalist, a dancer, a business leader – all from helping them to think creatively.
Since writing this post, Sir Ken Robsinson made another presentation at Ted in February 2010. http://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution.html I personally don’t find this particular presentation as compelling as his first given his meandering line of thinking; however, I do believe in his message still resonates – encourage children to follow their passions.