"Do schools kill creativity?"
Today I would like to share with you a topic that concerns me as a mother. The education System! Few years ago I watched a TED TALK by Ken Robinson about the public education system and creativity. At that time I did not had kids so I did not think so much about the topic but the other day I found myself watching his Ted Talk once again and made me start wondering...
Robinson highlights that the public education system grew as a response to industrialism, therefore the kids were being taught to serve the factories, so somehow schools look like factories themselves manufacturing processes. It is a very linear process concerned with specific outcomes, where they used a sort of standardized system, testing people within an industrial method of education. An education system where the focus is on succeeding at standard things that were imposed by the system rather than trying to identify what each individual/kid can do or are interested on exploring or learning more from.
Our education system needs to be better at helping the students finding themselves and motivate them to pursue and study more of the disciplines that motivates them the most. The system needs to be more of a personalized system rather than a standardized system where the education can be seen as an external support which help people develop their own answers based on a personalized profile.
My main contention is that the education system somehow supports some discipline better than other’s; they all have a hierarchy of subjects. This applied to subjects like dancing for example. Wherever you go in the whole world there isn't an education system that teaches dance everyday to children the same way we teach them mathematics. Why is that? Why is it that topics that involve creativity are not treated in the same status? My sister for example is 17 and is about to go to college next year. She is one of my real examples because what she really would like to become is a professional dancer, but the education system in Cape Verde is build in a way that that subjects like that are not even included in the high school.
I really believe that dancing for example is as important as mathematics. Children should be allowed to dance if that is what makes them happy and what they feel motivated to do. We all have bodies, don't we? But somehow it seems that as soon as children start growing up we all tend to focus on their heads and start educating them progressively from the waist up, literally. Why is it that my sister has to be educated in everything else beside the subject, which she loves the most? Why is it that if she really would like to learn more about how to dance she will have to pay extra for private dance schools?
I don’t know if you all noticed but more and more people worldwide are graduating which is awesome but this also means that in many cases a degree aren't worth anything. Isn't that true? We are all being educated to become the same things!
How many students do you know that have a degree and are not able to find a job within the field they graduated? Or because having a BA is simply not enough you need an MA where the previous job required a BA or you even need a PhD if you want to step out the crowd. It's a whole process of academic inflation where the whole structure of education is shifting below our feet. We need to radically rethink our view of intelligence and stop teaching our kids to fit within the same BOX. We need diversity and dynamism and need to rethink the system with a different disciplinary ways of seeing things.
Having an education is not just about teaching factual knowledge; it should incorporate cultural understanding, social learning and development of empathy and compassion. The goal of the education system should not just be about creating competent workers but individuals.
As a mother, I have all this concerns for my daughter’s future. Khloé is about to start school next year, so I will need to find alternatives to complement what the education system does not include. Luckily I live in a country where the education system is not so much based on this standardized testing system with grades and the relationship between the children and the teachers are less authoritative (only when the are around 12 that the grading system applies).
Anyway, in general the education system is pretty much the same everywhere, therefore I ask you all the same question as Robinson "Do schools kill creativity?" I leave you with a video that will help you reflect upon the education system. Share with me you thoughts and leave a comment.