Education, the Arts, & Creativity

The following video is a Ted Talk by Ken Robinson titled “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” What thoughts does his talk stimulate in you? Feel free to use the questions below as spring boards to share your mind.

How has school quenched creativity? Do you think your educational experience would have been better and more fruitful if you could’ve focused your time in another way than required of you; perhaps by exploring other fields?

Robinson made an interesting point that the education system discourages mistakes and that is a way of educating people out of their creative capacity. Do you think that the grading system has quenched creativity by discouraging mistakes on tests and papers? What might be another way of evaluating students on their educational goals?

Have you seen lack of creativity or enthusiasm in your professors? Have they failed to impress you with their presentations, assignments, lectures, and course goals?

Should the arts (music, art, dance, acting, etc.) take on a role of higher importance in education? What benefits do the arts have on human flourishing? If it were part of the core curriculum (by core I mean not being first to get cut and treated with equal importance as math and writing) how might it change our society?

Are there fundamental subjects that should be taught regardless of the program you’re in?

If the arts were of higher importance in education how do you think that would change the entertainment industry? Do you think people would make better entertainment art? Would there be more critique instead of simply consumption?

  1. Anthony Ferrer 80 says:

    I think the arts should be laced into every aspect of education. Music lyrics are far easier to remember than facts. If educators found a way to combine the two, perhaps students will find, otherwise lifeless classes, exciting! Art can express personality and can also be used as a memory technique. The brain enjoys pictures, and visuals because humans are extremely visual oriented beings. We prefer remembering pictures rather than words, this explains the basis of most memory techniques. There are far more art forms, including a dozen performing arts that can be implemented in the education process.

    • Anthony, you make some interesting points. Musical lyrics as a way of remembering facts…fascinating! I imagine most educators are lyrically challenged. How could an educator who wants to implement a method like this but who has little or no musical skill do so?

      • Anthony Ferrer 80 says:

        This might allow educators to offer more options for students to participate or even create separate assignments by having the students implement the method on their own for their own benefit. I feel it may be more successful if it’s offered as participation points rather than a required assignment due to the over justification effect. Being required, or making an activity the students already love from an intrinsically motivated activity to an extrinsically motivated activity may decrease the desire to utilize a new, fun technique.

  2. Tiffany Sisak says:

    Ken Robinson states in his TED Talk video that “we get educated out of creativity.” I agree with his statement because we have grown up with this theory that even if we have a special talent we are not good enough to ever make a career from it. School puts too much pressure on teenagers and they grow depressed because they’re made to feel like failures. Instead of thinking that mistakes are the worst thing, students should be encouraged to focus on their inner voice and what truly makes them happy.

    • “we have grown up with this theory that even if we have a special talent we are not good enough to ever make a career from it.”

      I agree with you here Tiffany. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve heard statements like “That’s a nice dream but you could never make a living from it.” It’s been said to me and I’ve heard it said to others…and if I’m being completely honest, I’ve said it to others.

  3. Jenniffer says:

    In this video Ken Robinson makes a great point as he talks about how education at schools, has literally killed some people’s dreams of becoming artists, dances, musicians etc… I agree with him when he says that “creativity should be treated the same as literacy.” Creativity is what makes us think, what makes us smart! Being creative has made me personally, find my true love and passion for photography, painting and drawing. I found my talent when I took an Intro to art class in High School. I was nervous about picking up the pencil and tracing some lines on the paper. I didn’t know I could actually draw. Then I saw how awesome it felt to be able to express what I was feeling on a piece of paper. My senior year I took an AP art class and felt like that is what I wanted to do in college. I loved being able to get my own ideas down with a brush on a brand new canvas, or with a pencil on a piece of drawing paper. College came and the decision to to apply to an art school, was something I had to think about. I was told “Art is just a hobby and you can’t live of it!”
    Educators should think about what the younger generations feel about when they are able to express themselves with any kind of art forms, instead of answering some multiple choice questions or writing an essay during a test.
    “Everyone is born with creativity, but we grow out of creativity.”

  4. tstanley7495 says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article because I agree with it in many ways. He makes many great points such as why is math and reading more important than art and music. In a way I do agree with him about how entertainment and the arts should be just as important as the core subjects and how schools kind of hold back students from being creative. On the other hand after analyzing and inferring about the outcome of our school system if art and music were core classes I believe it would not be good for our society. Obviously, in school everyone loves art and music a lot more than they do science and math. If students were given the option to take these classes instead of science and math, I believe that many student would take that route. If this happens who will become our future doctors and lawyers and accountants? Yes our world would be more creative and free minded, but so many people would be unemployed searching for fields in the entertainment business that aren’t there and we wont have necessary jobs. As you can see, overall I don’t believe we should make music and art core subjects in the curriculum.

  5. cesarina says:

    “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” – Albert Einstein.
    I think it’s very important that creativity be encouraged in modern education. I find our demand for future generations to meet contemporary needs has pushed educators to believe that creativity isn’t as important as efficiency in the classroom; just filling in the right answer. It’s as if schools have forgotten that a need for efficiency was developed by people with creativity. The generations coming out of traditional schooling right now don’t know how to critically think; we are limited by “the right answer”.
    If creativity is encouraged in the classroom, other important principles of learning will find themselves back in the classroom again – like genuine interest and curiosity.

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