Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

I came across this 20 minute talk by Sir Ken Robinson a few months ago, and it’s both challenging and inspirational:

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“We are educating people out of their creativity,” Robinson says. I was just reading a post at Presentation Zen that reminded me of the talk, in which Garr says:

So we let creativity slip and we become less and less creative (or at least we marginalize it) as we become adults, that is, as we become “serious people.” But creativity is not just for the art and literature majors of the world. All professions increasingly require more and more infusions of creative talent. And the real irony is that our true nature is to be creative — it is who we are — yet we are often quite successful at educating ourselves and others out of it

This is a lot to this discussion, actually. Some would argue that it is in the best interest of the dominant power structure to discourage creativity, as ‘thinking outside the box’ is a potential threat to the social order. That’s oversimplistic, of course, but never underestimate what people will do to acquire and retain money and power.

On a basic level, it’s a reminder to me that we do take life too seriously at times and that we greatly undervalue creativity and imagination. The more challenging question is this: Do churches kill creativity?

2 thoughts on “Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?”

  1. Daryle says:

    Einstein is famously quoted as saying “knowledge destroys the imagination.” But is it that black and white? Is Steve Jobs not a creative person?

    Do churches kill creativity? I can not really answer that. I am sure some do and am sure some encourage it.

    Part of this discussion would involve how people put “creativity” in an artistic box. Creativity is man’s only survival tool, we are slow, weak, have bad eyes, and bad noses compared to the rest of the animals on the planet. With creativity we would not make it through our day. I think that is forgotten and creativity is almost always associated with the arts. Which is a mistake.

  2. Seth Daire says:

    G.K. Chesterton spoke often of our overreliance on science, to the point where we think science has all the answers. Less people believe that now. We seem to love dichotomies, as if science and creativity can’t live together.

    When talking about social structures and power, sadly, some churches fall in the trap of a) not letting people think outside the box and b) discouraging involvement in the arts. And, ironically, some churches that do promote creativity downplay knowledge.

    Agreed, aligning creativity almost exclusively with being artistic is a mistake.

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