Ken Robinson’s TED talk on “Do schools kill creativity?”

You can also watch it at its web page; I like the chapter markings on the full-screen version of the video player on their page. (Not the embedded one here.)

I heard about this talk via two separate routes: Presentation Zen and Evolving Excellence. Two blogs which don’t normally have much in common, but in retrospect it makes sense that you’d see this in both places: in particular, the lean folks know as much as anybody about the value of encouraging creativity at all levels of your organization.

Lots of good stuff in the talk; some ideas I particularly liked:

  • Students who are in school now will still be working half a century from now, yet we have a hard time predicting what the world will be like half a decade from now; can we afford to do anything other than do anything other than encourage their creativity and capacities for innovation?
  • To be creative, you need to make mistakes; yet schools punish you ruthlessly for making them. (They could take a lesson from Super Mario Galaxy: feedback doesn’t mean punishment. Or, for that matter, from more sandboxy games: you don’t need pervasive feedback, either.)
  • Different people have different strengths, yet schools focus on an obscenely small portion of those. If somebody is fidgeting in your math class, perhaps discovering that they’re a dancer is a better idea than putting them on ADHD drugs.

As always, I’m very glad that we found PACT. It’s not perfect, but it’s worlds better than what I hear of schools elsewhere.

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