Motion for Debate: Do schools kill creativity?

images_gallery_221_389x292_bigIn this inspirational speech, Sir Ken Robinson argues that the present academic system should adapt itself to a new world. As he says “creativity is as important as literacy”.

I really find this talk most interesting. When there is so much pressure on students to do something “practical”, to study a degree with a view to finding a job, is our school system doing the same? Should studies be a source of data, a way to get ready for work life or simply prepare us for life in general?  Shouldn’t we get something else from the amount of hours we spend sitting at a desk? What about dancing, drama, music, painting, art in general? There are those who argue that students nowadays lack basic knowledge of important aspects of our culture, our geography, that they can hardly write without spelling mistakes, and there isn’t enough time at school and we have to find our priorites. And which should they be?

What do you think? Do really schools kill creativity?

Watch the talk and find out what Robinson thinks about this. Then take a position: are you in favour of the motion (“Schools kill creativity”) or against the motion? Write your opinion in a comment and vote in the poll.
Ken Robinson in TED

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(In TED you can read some reactions to Robinson’s speech.)

13 thoughts on “Motion for Debate: Do schools kill creativity?

  1. Hello.
    I’ve been listening once, I’ll have to listen again.
    Nevertheless, I don’t think schools kill creativity.
    Maybe the problem is society. We are expected to be educated in order to get a good job, and not to express ourselves.
    Perhaps people are not as brave as that little girl who was drowing a picture of God. Her teacher told her; “But nobody knows what God looks like”. And the girl replied; “They will in a minute”.
    Most people would have stopped drawing.
    Good girl!

  2. Hello.
    I’ve been listening again.
    I’ve always got on well with all my teachers. I’ve been lucky at schools. I went to schools which encouraged people to do artistic activities as music or painting. But this man is right when he says arts are usually the less important of subjects at schools. And that undermines creativity.
    On the other hand, some people don’t like anything involved in education, they don’t like studying or learning, they only go to school because they have to in order to get their degrees.
    Another point to consider is social proof. It is much easier to be among the average, and the average is lazy and like to be leaded as a herd of sheep, because it’s much more relaxing. You don’t have the pressure of taking a decision that will prove you right or wrong and you can always blame the leader who did it. So when you outstand in any subject they look at you as someone different and some people can’t cope with that, hence they stay in the average.
    I like Reinassance. They educated people in all branches of knowledge and arts in that time. But then you wouldn’t have outstood because that’s what was expected from everybody.
    And finally, I think mass media have a great power to educate people because of social proof.
    I don’t usually watch TV, I don’t like it most of times, but I would if the broadcast were more educative and not so -in my opinion- distorting.
    Think about small children watching some TV commercials which are broadcast at any time of the day -or night-. Have you ever felt like turning your TV off to prevent them from seeing anything in particular?
    Now, what do you think?

  3. I totally agree with Sir Ken Robinson. Our educational system underestimates subjects like arts, music or dance. In fact, there is no time to practice dancing or singing in our schools.
    What is more, many teachers allow children to finish homework or to do academic tasks during the artistic sessions because these subjects (arts, music, etc.) are considered less important.

    I think the main problem comes from our society and its actual values: wealth, power, money, comfort… Most of us spend 20 or 30 years trying to find a better job, a better house, and another amenities in an attempt to be the best in our careers and the best in our social net. All of this is caused because our society emphasizes academic abilities leaving aside, in a second position, another capacities as creativity which is, in my opinion as important as mathematics or literacy.

    It´s thought that being a doctor or an engineer is better than being a singer, an actor or a painter and consequently, our children are educated to acquire and develop academic abilities. Schools encourage children and teenagers to study a degree in the university instead of studying practical degrees, which unfortunately are considered as “ lower studies”, for those who are not enough prepared to study in the university. What a terrible misconception!!!!!

  4. I don´t think creativity can be a subject to teach at scholl. I can´t mind my son telling me ‘I felt Maths, but I have good marks in creativity’. Creativity is a feature of personality and can be found in all areas of human knowledge, not only in artistic subjects.
    In my opinion school should prepare us for life in general and everyone have to chose his own way of life. The problem is that the present social values seem to be being more than the others – more wealthy, more popular, more attractive, to have more expensive clothes or cars or more comfortable houses- and people seems to forget that we all live in the same world and if we have all these goods is because other people is suffering from poverty. A present example is The Congo, where millions of people was stripped of theirs lands because of multionational companys´s interests in an industrial component needed to manufacture flat screen of mobiles phones, I-pod and this stuff.
    A lot of people take this way of life and spend his lifes working and working to achieve more and more possesion. so I think is society that kills creativity, not school. Another question is if school should teach children to respect the others and to share economic resources and if the present system of marks is suitable to educate children in equality.
    In connection with this, there is a debate in Spain about the new subject ‘Educación para la Ciudadanía’ . What do you think about parents who reject it for their children?

  5. Hello.
    I think the main point of this debate should be:
    Do schools kill creativity?
    It depends.
    On the one hand, there are two ways to solve a problem:
    Heuristic way, that means you work out the solution on your own, with your own thought, resources and ideas. That implies creativity: Necessity is the mother of invention.
    Didactic way, you learn how to work out the solution because someone else tells you how to do it. That implies you are not creating, but repeating or imitating.
    According to this, schools do kill creativity.
    On the other hand, schools provide us with useful knowledge and material.
    So I think -most of times on my own- it depends on the person who is teaching, because there are many ways you can do things and if you are given options you can be heuristic to find the way to do the tasks.
    In addition to this, you can or cannot do extra work at home, and that depends on you not on your teachers.
    According to this schools do not kill creativity.
    Come on everybody!
    What do you think?

  6. Obviously, students have to learn classic subjects as mathematics, literacy, chemistry, etc. Unfortunately, I don´t agree with the way that these subjects are taught. As I see it, students have to learn by heart. They have some theories, some equations, but they don´t apply them, they don´t think about how to use this theories, what you can do with this knowledge. With this method, we are achieved rigid minds, which can´t think by themselves. The Education System should create creative minds.

    On one hand, a creative education prepares kids to face any situation in their future as adults. On the other hand, this method is more motivating. Students might be motivated to learn more and more of the subject that they like. Thus, we will put solution to the school failure.

    Besides, The Education System should provide students the opportunity to learn other subjects as cookery, drama, typing, etc. In Spain, the only way to study these topics is doing courses out of school. The fact to test their dexterity in these issues, can help pupils to know their real vocation.

    To sum up, I agree with the speech. The Education System needs a change.

  7. I don’t think schools kill creativity.
    First, in my opinion, it’s impossible to learn creativity. Do you think Mozart, Picasso and other talented people learnt creativity? I don’t think so.
    It’s important that children express themselves, but it isn’t a subject to learn at school. Creativity is developed when they have problems to solve, when they are playing, I mean, in life in general, so parents and teachers should let children cope with their activities instead of telling them how to do it (obviously teachers and parents have to help them).
    On the other hand, I think schools have to give children a head start by providing them with useful knowledge because they will have to choose their own way. Despite the fact that it’s necessary to attend music and painting classes, I think there are more important subjects. In the introduction of the debate, it’s said that students lack basic knowledge of important aspects and I think it’s something the system should improve (and this is not an aspect of creativity).
    From my point of view, what teachers should do is make children think. It’s the best to prepare children to face facts.

  8. I don’t agree with any points of my classmates.
    Clausaymara, do you think to be a singer or an actor is worse considered than being an engineer or a doctor in our society? To be honest, I’d prefer to be a singer or an actor. It’s extremely well-paid, you don’t have to study so hard and you don’t take the responsibility that a doctor takes.
    She/He also says that most of us spend years of our lives trying to get a better job, a better house… I think it’s a good attitude. Taking things for granted and say “I can’t” is not the best way to deal with problems and improve your life.
    And I don’t think vocational courses are “lower studies” currently. Many young people choose this option, even they are clever students. The period of time to study is shorter and they get a job faster.
    Ivy2008 says that the Education System should create creative minds. My question is: “How?” Do you think it’s possible to learn creativity?
    Finally, machete says we have goods because other people are suffering from poverty. I feel really lucky to have been born in a developed country and I think children ought to be aware of this kind of problems, but it shouldn’t be an obstacle to try to get their goals in life.

  9. I do think that school kills creativity.

    I think creativity is a really important skill and really difficult one to achieve. Creativity is not something that you can just learn at school, I think it is something you improve in every situation in your day-to-day life. But school just reduces all those situations in just solving math problems and learning things by hard. I don’t think that isn’t important, of course not. It is part of school and I assume that. But I also think that certain things related with creativity should be important to. Why don’t we have the possibility to take drama lessons or learn to play an instrument?

    We focus a lot on the academic part, and not in other things, when, in real world, what matters is if you manage to create new ideas and be open to new possibilities but not just knowing how to solve and equation. What I am saying is that at school we should be able to learn to paint, dance, act… in other words, we have to learn new ways of expressing our feelings and be creative.

    From my on experience I can tell that the only thing involving creativity that I was asked to do was to paint in a piece of paper what I wanted and I had to admit I just didn’t even manage to think of anything to draw. It is quite sad actually.

    I think including things that involve creativity in our schools is something that we have to improve in our Academic System.

  10. I think that creativity is underestimated not just in our schools, it’s underestimated even in all the aspects of our life. Many people think that arts are just a kind of hobbie or something like that and the educational systems all around the world give more importance to more techincal subjects or more “useful” subjects which can help you going to university and finding a job. This is true, but it’s not only the educational systems’ fault, we all take part of the education of the present and future generations and if we want creativity to be alive we have to give it the importance it really has.
    ¿Who doesn’t like listening to a great song?, ¿who doesn’t like watching an expectacular painting? Everybody likes something artistic, because it’s a way to express ourselves. It will be wonderful not having just a few artists, because everyone of us is an artist and ¿what is better than expressing your feelings or thoughts on a pice of art?

  11. I totally agree with Michelle. For me it is clear that schools kill creativity. They have a plan about the things to do, the subjetcs and the lessons to teach. You, as a student, are suppossed to learn this subjects and lessons, other things are not important, you only need to study and follow the rules.

    From my own experience I have to say that my 9 years at the primary school were a complete waste of time. There were lots of rules and lots of banning things, as you can imagine, all the creativity habilities were included in the banning things.

    In my opinion schools would provide us more freedom not more frustrations.

  12. In my opinion, schools kill creativity. We are educated as a group. All of us have the same goal: to passing exams, going to the next level an try to rich the higher level we can. But unfortunately, nobody pays attention to our individual skills. There’s a standard that you have to pass and that is the important.
    Every day a possible scientific, artist or athlete, is wasted.

  13. Hello.
    Oh my God!
    I remember when I went to primary and secondary schools.
    I went with my guitar and sung and played in the courtyard -people at secondary school requested me songs.
    Did you ever hear somebody singing with a guitar in your schools?
    By the way, music and painting, as any other arts, don’t need to be tought or learnt.
    See you later aligator.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s