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Author Topic: Do schools kill creativity - interesting  (Read 4001 times)
N Walker
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« on: April 05, 2010, 04:51:15 PM »
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TED talks - Prof Sir Ken Robinson - interesting, profound and very funny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY

"Professors live in their heads and slightly to one side, they are disembodied in a kind of literal way, they use their body as a form of transport, its a way of getting their heads to meetings." - just one of several amusing quotes that tickled me.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 05:21:23 PM by Nick Walker » Logged

Rob C
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2010, 02:41:57 AM »
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Very amusing (if thought-provoking) link - thanks for it!

For what it's worth, it was my experience in my last school. When I got there, my interests were mainly art and English Lit/Lang but I was dissuaded (rather, my folks were) from sticking with art. In retrospect, I understood that the reason had little to do with me but everythng to do with the look of the academic results in the league tables in which schools unofficially competed. English, maths and the sciences were good; art was for deadheads. So I dropped art. And eventually became a pro photographer - figures.

Rob C
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 02:56:47 AM by Rob C » Logged

N Walker
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2010, 11:19:52 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Very amusing (if thought-provoking) link - thanks for it!

For what it's worth, it was my experience in my last school. When I got there, my interests were mainly art and English Lit/Lang but I was dissuaded (rather, my folks were) from sticking with art. In retrospect, I understood that the reason had little to do with me but everythng to do with the look of the academic results in the league tables in which schools unofficially competed. English, maths and the sciences were good; art was for deadheads. So I dropped art. And eventually became a pro photographer - figures.

Rob C

My end of term reports, relating to the subjects that I detested the most, mentioned that I didn't apply myself, was capable (doubtful) and could do much better. Pretty much spot on and without the need for today's requirements to waste time being coached and ever practising to pass SATS exams, to the detriment of new learning. SATS appear, in the main, to be for the benefit of this control-freaked-out government.

There are some cracking jokes in Ken Robinson's talk but as you point out his message is also thought-provoking. The story about Gillian Lynn (choreographer) is interesting.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 11:20:38 AM by Nick Walker » Logged

Rob C
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2010, 04:20:17 PM »
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Did you notice that when he made the crack about "chestnut" as in hoary old, nobody seemed to get it? I wonder if it is just peculiar to Britain, the expression ?

;-)

Rob C
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N Walker
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2010, 08:34:00 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Did you notice that when he made the crack about "chestnut" as in hoary old, nobody seemed to get it? I wonder if it is just peculiar to Britain, the expression ?

;-)

Rob C


Rob,

The proverb, old chestnut, is understood in the UK to mean an old joke that is very well known (often repeated) - 'oh that old chestnut.'
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Justan
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2010, 11:14:45 AM »
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Topics such as this are like mirrors of the psyche. You look at them and what comes back is a reflection of your experiences.

IMO the era of scholasticism was all about killing creativity. At the time it was the only game in town, were one to question it’s relation to creativity, the over-lords would likely have put the questioner to death for speaking against them.

Fear of death before an absolute unswerving authority is how you kill creativity and force conformity.

Society is ever more complex. What other species takes nearly 20 years to become autonomous? How better to help the willing achieve autonomy than through education and socialization? The birth and growth of our modern (Western) education system and the growth of liberal arts and sciences have fostered more creativity than existed in all of history before.

Yet no form of education is without its problems. The goal is to try to help the student gain knowledge and skills that will help them live in society. We have not come up with a better way to achieve this than through public education.

Due to all of this, Sir Robinson’s presentation, while amusing, smacks of pandering to the blissfully ignorant.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 11:18:41 AM by Justan » Logged

N Walker
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2010, 11:21:25 AM »
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in error
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 11:24:12 AM by Nick Walker » Logged

Rob C
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2010, 03:01:00 PM »
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Quote from: Justan
Due to all of this, Sir Robinson’s presentation, while amusing, smacks of pandering to the blissfully ignorant.


And you really imagine that the "blissfully ignorant" would be likely to be watching him in that venue?

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2010, 03:03:58 PM »
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Quote from: Nick Walker
Rob,

The proverb, old chestnut, is understood in the UK to mean an old joke that is very well known (often repeated) - 'oh that old chestnut.'


Obviously, I know that, Nick, which was why I mentioned it as surprising that nobody in the audience, going by the lack of audible response, seemed to twig... sorry!

Rob C
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2010, 03:12:42 PM »
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Quote from: Justan
The birth and growth of our modern (Western) education system and the growth of liberal arts and sciences have fostered more creativity than existed in all of history before.

I'm not aware of studies tying public education to increased creativity on a societal level. Even if that was the case, correlation does not necessarily imply causation.

The most profound creative works have been created well before public education and when world's population and creative output was a fraction of what it currently is - although that perception is tainted by selection bias due to poor works disappearing in history.

In any case, I would argue that subjecting students to the same education regardless of their skill levels stumps the growth of high performers due to lowest common denominator setting the pace.
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2010, 03:56:19 PM »
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Quote from: Justan
Yet no form of education is without its problems. The goal is to try to help the student gain knowledge and skills that will help them live in society.

You're correct about the goal of education, but only as far as middle school. In high school, and especially at the university level, the primary purpose of education is to teach the student to think and reason, to learn. Sure, there are specific foundations of knowledge for each topic which must be memorized, but beyond that it should be about thinking.

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We have not come up with a better way to achieve this than through public education.

So, in your mind the education systems of the world are all the same? No differences, at all? They're perfect the way they are? Rubbish!

The whole purpose of the talk was about improving education methods, not replacing education. As you stated, "society is ever more complex". So why are you so willing to accept the education system in its current form? Why is talk of change so alarming to you?




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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2010, 05:58:37 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Obviously, I know that, Nick, which was why I mentioned it as surprising that nobody in the audience, going by the lack of audible response, seemed to twig... sorry!

Rob C


Rob

I need to see the piece again and pay better attention to your post!
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N Walker
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2010, 06:35:28 PM »
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[quote name='Justan' date='Apr 7 2010, 05:14 PM' post='358728']

Due to all of this, Sir Robinson’s presentation, while amusing, smacks of pandering to the blissfully ignorant.


Many highly educated people in their 30's - 40's leave their city jobs and move to the country for self fulfilment, often starting up businesses, living off the land, or the creative arts - skills either not taught or at the bottom of the state education systems list of priorities. The education system measure pupils by core subjects and not by how well an individual may excel at the long jump!

England's primary school curriculum has been greatly narrowed by the governments obsession with SATs. For several weeks prior to the SATs exams, schools in England concentrate on coaching pupils to pass these exams, to the detriment of new learning - that's why many heads and teachers have publicly made it known they will boycott the tests this year - we will see.

My wife is a teacher in the UK state education system. She studied Laban based contemporary dance at teacher training college - her passion. She worked as a training and development consultant and has written various training standards for UK industry and worked closely with government ministers and heads of education in other countries. Dawn was raised on a farm and treated like a tomboy by her father, he was a physical training instructor in the Royal Artillery. She was also a police officer for several years.

Through her various jobs and life experiences, her view as a teacher, is that creative, visual and performing arts are of equally importance to core subjects - a view formed many years ago.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2010, 04:24:36 AM by Nick Walker » Logged

RSL
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2010, 06:48:51 PM »
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Quote from: Justan
The birth and growth of our modern (Western) education system and the growth of liberal arts and sciences have fostered more creativity than existed in all of history before.

Justan, Certainly Western liberal arts and sciences have contributed to the ability of creative people to capitalize on their creativity, but do you really think that education is what brings about (fosters) creativity? I think I'd attribute Western creativity more to the growth of individual liberty that started, albeit in a cramped way, with the Magna Carta, and exploded with the American revolution. In my own experience the most creative people I've known have sought education, not necessarily through our "educational" institutions, rather than had education dumped upon them. Their creativity existed first.
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Rob C
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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2010, 11:07:21 AM »
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[quote name='Nick Walker' date='Apr 8 2010, 12:35 AM' post='358826']


My wife is a teacher in the UK state education system.





Hi Nick

Ditto my daughter and her husband. And you know what? From the vantage point of the insiders, they have accepted the sacrificial route and are paying to have both kids go through private education. You can gues how that can impact the available funds.

To me, it says all that needs saying about the public (as not private - a difference in the UK terminology) offering.

Rob C
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fredjeang
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« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2010, 04:44:29 AM »
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Education is a system that is built to duplicates clons that will serve the general system in place.
In our western countries, it is capitalism. In other parts, values are different but it work just the same.

It promotes creativity only if/when creativity is serving the system, it kills creativity where the system does not need or want it.

Fred.
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Justan
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« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2010, 10:31:54 AM »
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Y’all are leaping to all kinds of conclusions and supposition based on nothing but your own projections. As I wrote, threads such as this are the equivalent of Rorschach ink blots.

Folks that have any of a wide array of skills will find an opportunity to improve those through education. Many who never had the opportunity before will find many many opportunities to pursue highly creative schools of study.

The key detail about education is that it puts emphasis on technical excellence. If some believe that this demand is crippling towards creativity, it amounts to a rationalized excuse serving the ends of sloppy work. No matter what you do, no one wants a crap product.

If one wants to pursue a degree in the arts in the U system, a large percentage of the work is done in studio settings. The goal is to add skills and continually hone techniques. There is a nearly equal set of studies that are done to advance research and critical thinking skills.

In the end most who have been successful in the education system will tend to support it while those who have not been successful, or who never tried, will not be supportive. Is a formal education it the only way to success? Of course not, it’s the best system society has developed.

Then there are those who go on the lecture circuit seeking to pander to whomever will pay for tickets… The successful presenters do it competently. One doesn’t have to wonder too long about they honed their presentation or “creative” skills…………….
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fredjeang
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« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2010, 01:44:26 PM »
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Quote from: Justan
Y’all are leaping to all kinds of conclusions and supposition based on nothing but your own projections. As I wrote, threads such as this are the equivalent of Rorschach ink blots.

Folks that have any of a wide array of skills will find an opportunity to improve those through education. Many who never had the opportunity before will find many many opportunities to pursue highly creative schools of study.

The key detail about education is that it puts emphasis on technical excellence. If some believe that this demand is crippling towards creativity, it amounts to a rationalized excuse serving the ends of sloppy work. No matter what you do, no one wants a crap product.

If one wants to pursue a degree in the arts in the U system, a large percentage of the work is done in studio settings. The goal is to add skills and continually hone techniques. There is a nearly equal set of studies that are done to advance research and critical thinking skills.

In the end most who have been successful in the education system will tend to support it while those who have not been successful, or who never tried, will not be supportive. Is a formal education it the only way to success? Of course not, it’s the best system society has developed.

Then there are those who go on the lecture circuit seeking to pander to whomever will pay for tickets… The successful presenters do it competently. One doesn’t have to wonder too long about they honed their presentation or “creative” skills…………….
Justan,
Your points are correct.

No way that the tecnical excellence has to kill creativity. There is also an enormous amount of creativity involved into what the education system tend to promote. Creativity works perfectly with technical skills.

But your second statement is absolutely not as drastic, and I say it from direct experience: Most of the people I know who have been unsuccessfull in the education system (rejected by the system itself) are now older, at the head of compagnies and earn money. I know a lot of guys who have been totally successfull in the education system and who are actually in bad position, socially, economically etc...So there is no direct relation between one and another.
The education system is neutral, and it is not made to please us but to make the machine works.
Independent thinking and creativity is something that one can find, no matter if inside or outside the system. And if one is clever, he can take advantage of the educational system (free access and technical knowledge) and at the same time keep away for being just another clon.
Creativity at its best needs freedom.

Fred.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2010, 01:46:22 PM by fredjeang » Logged
N Walker
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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2010, 02:13:52 PM »
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Quote from: Justan
Y’all are leaping to all kinds of conclusions and supposition based on nothing but your own projections. As I wrote, threads such as this are the equivalent of Rorschach ink blots.

Folks that have any of a wide array of skills will find an opportunity to improve those through education. Many who never had the opportunity before will find many many opportunities to pursue highly creative schools of study.

The key detail about education is that it puts emphasis on technical excellence. If some believe that this demand is crippling towards creativity, it amounts to a rationalized excuse serving the ends of sloppy work. No matter what you do, no one wants a crap product.

If one wants to pursue a degree in the arts in the U system, a large percentage of the work is done in studio settings. The goal is to add skills and continually hone techniques. There is a nearly equal set of studies that are done to advance research and critical thinking skills.

In the end most who have been successful in the education system will tend to support it while those who have not been successful, or who never tried, will not be supportive. Is a formal education it the only way to success? Of course not, it’s the best system society has developed.

Then there are those who go on the lecture circuit seeking to pander to whomever will pay for tickets… The successful presenters do it competently. One doesn’t have to wonder too long about they honed their presentation or “creative” skills…………….

Are you a teacher?
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daws
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« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2010, 11:13:08 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Justan, Certainly Western liberal arts and sciences have contributed to the ability of creative people to capitalize on their creativity, but do you really think that education is what brings about (fosters) creativity? I think I'd attribute Western creativity more to the growth of individual liberty that started, albeit in a cramped way, with the Magna Carta, and exploded with the American revolution. In my own experience the most creative people I've known have sought education, not necessarily through our "educational" institutions, rather than had education dumped upon them. Their creativity existed first.
Bingo.
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