Posted by: meredithbuchanan | December 26, 2009

Creativity

“All children are born artists, the problem is to remain artists as we grow up” –Pablo Picasso

I recently viewed a lecture given by Sir Ken Robinson, courtesy of TED.com. He has some interesting things to say on how schools kill creativity. Robinson believes that  “Creativity is as important in education as literacy and we should treat it will the same status.”

In this talk he gives examples about how children are not afraid to make mistakes, if they don’t know the answer to a question, they are not afraid to try for it anyway. He tells one of my favorite little stories of a young girl in art class who was drawing a picture of God. Her teacher questions how she will do this saying “Nobody knows what God looks like.” to which the girl replies, “They will in a minute.” This illustrates the idea that children are highly inventive and are not afraid to take risks. This changes as we grow into our adult life, where mistakes are stigmatized; mistakes are the worst things you can make. “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.” says Robinson, and I couldn’t agree more. I want to encourage risk taking in my students, I want to teach them that mistakes are wonderful because we learn so much from them, I want to teach students how to fall and how to get back up again.

“We are educating people out of their creative capacities” says Robinson,“We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it, rather we get educated out of it.”

This is a fascinating idea for me and will certainly have me thinking about whether I am educating my students out of creativity or whether I am helping them flourish in it.

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