Do Schools Kill Creativity?

You never thought about Shakespeare having a father.

I laughed at many points during this TED talk, but the story about Shakespeare was especially enjoyable. No I’ve never really considered a 7 year old Shakespeare who must have studied under teachers guidance. Granted he would have been seen as a failure or misfit in languages, much like Albert Einstein was in mathematics and science. If there is anything we should have learned from historical figures, it is that the most remembered are often the ones thought least likely to succeed. That is why their stories are so profound and stand the test of time.

Between the comedic jokes and thoughts about life, Sir Ken Robinson discusses an idea about Academic inflation. Not grade inflation, which has recently been posed as an issue on campus. Academic inflation is the idea that children who have skills and interests in subjects that are not valued, are given less opportunity to succeed and degrees effectively become worth less as more people earn them.

Those who had degrees 30 years ago were highly valued for high paying, decision making careers. Today, those same degrees (which have more current content focuses) are less beneficial for beginning careers and achieving success. I would agree that we should radically rethink ideas of intelligence. Interactions between people of various talents and intellectual thinking are very important. Concepts of cross-functional teams, to some extent shows an awareness that working together and collaborating across skill sets can be beneficial. However, we should strive to go beyond this simplified, organizational practice by looking not across the room, but by looking in a completely separate room for collaborative partners. This will inevitably take people out of their social circles and comfort zones, but such occurrences are vital for anyone to obtain their objectives. By valuing more areas of expertise, we can increase opportunity, increase social well-being, and contribute more equally to global solutions.

Sir Ken Robinson

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