Tuesday 20 August 2013

TED talk by Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

They do if they churn out future factory workers.

Sir Ken Robinson decries the censorious nature of mainstream schooling and the crushing of eccentricity.

School is often a conformity factory, shoving round pegs into square holes, pushing until they fit.

Instructors have a my-way-or-the-highway attitude, and they're up front and belligerent. Do it their way or get out. Others take it upon themselves to 'cull the herd' by being as vicious and discouraging as humanly possible. They even take pride in their self-appointed role of eliminating the weak.

Thank goodness for open minded teachers, who try to excite and encourage students, rather than blinker them. Schools note aberrant behaviour (too active, too eccentric, too this, too that) and suppress it.

Robinson's talk presents some excellent reasons why this can be counter-productive.

There are many ways to go about things. People think differently and approach problems in a multitude of ways and from wildly different perspectives. You have to leave people room to 'breathe' mentally, as it were. Humans vary to such an extent that a one-size-fits-all education system will never be able to accommodate the breadth of human diversity.

The question, I suppose, is how can discipline be imposed and costs kept within reasonable limits without stunting the intellectual growth of students or neglecting their potential.