Is Education to Blame for Lack of Creativity?

There is extraordinary evidence of human creativity.  Just the variety and range of it.  It (this creativity) has put us as humans in a place where we have no idea what’s going to happen in terms of the future.  No idea how this may play out.  I’ve got an interest in education, actually what I find is that everybody has an interest in education.  Don’t you?

I find it fascinating that when you’re at a dinner party and you say you work in education… Actually you’re not often at dinner parties, frankly, you’re not asked.  And you’re never asked back curiously.  But I do have a great interest in education, partly because it’s this education that’s meant to take us into this future that we can’t grasp.  If you think about it, children starting school this year, will be retiring in 2077.  Nobody has a clue, despite all the expertise that’s been put on parade for the past few years, what the world will look like in 5 years and yet were meant to educate children for it (this future).  The unpredictability is extraordinary.

Its been well established that children store astounding capacities.  Their capacities for innovation.

Children have unfathomable imaginations – my thought is that all kids have tremendous talents (creative talents) and education squanders that talent, quite ruthlessly!  My contention is that, in a world today, creativity is just as important as literacy – which isn’t/wasn’t the case when I was at school. We should treat creativity with the same status as mathematics/languages/science and have the necessary support systems for it.

There’s this story of a pre-school Nativity play (you all know the story -it’s quite well known) and it got to the part where the 3 Wise Men presents the gold, frankincense and myrrh.  For some reason the frankincense and myrrh got mixed up, but that wasn’t too big of a deal.  The first boy comes and says, “I bring you gold”, the second boy says, “I bring you myrrh” and the third boy said, “Frank sent this”.

What this tell us, is that kids will take a chance.  If they don’t know, they’ll have a go – they’re not frightened of being wrong.  Now I don’t mean to say that being wrong is the same as being creative; however, if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with something that’s original.  By the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity.  They’ve become frightened to be wrong.  The world runs everything this way – we stigmatise mistakes.  The schooling/education system is run this way too, where mistakes are condemned.  The end result is that we are educating people (children) out of their creative capacities.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

~Pablo Picasso~

So I think we’re all born with tremendous creativity, but due to a hierarchical schooling system – that regards some subjects more important than others – this creativity takes a back seat and never receives the attention it needs to blossom.  We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it; rather we get educated out of it.

The process of having original ideas that have value.  This is the best definition of creativity that I’m able to give.  We humans are made to make things – we are rejuvenated by new and exciting things- there are NO LIMITS!


[This is not an April Fools joke]



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