Dan   |  Thursday, March 22, 2012
Tags: Leadership

Educating out of creativity?

I was having a conversation with a few associates this evening and one of them mentioned Sir Ken Robinson. We were talking a bit about education and the fact that all children seem to learn different things in different ways, and Ken’s famous 2006 and 2010 TED Conference talks quickly became our focus. If you haven’t seen these videos yet, do yourself a favor and join the 100s of millions who have. He is a fascinating “teacher” from whom I have learned a great deal.

He has helped me understand a lot about my own education, but more importantly, the education of the “now generation” – The young boys and girls who are quickly turning into young men and women and who will one day (very soon) become the leaders most of us will follow.

I am actually going to be speaking with some of these future leaders today at an elementary school in Tampa, and I can't wait to see what they are doing... Not what they are learning, necessarily... what they're doing.

Ken Robinson says that we are educating our children out of creativity because our society demands it. “Don’t do music, because you’re not going to be a musician. Don’t do art; you’re not going to be an artist… and besides there’s no money in it.” Someone somewhere decided that a standardized educational system was far more valuable than celebrating the individualism and creativity we all innately possess. And that is, indeed, a tragedy.

It’s true that many highly talented, brilliant and innovative young people think they are not smart enough or good enough because the things they were good at in school weren’t valued, celebrated or cultivated. They were instead, as Ken says, “stigmatized.”

I had the privilege of interviewing Ken last year at the Chick-fil-A Leadercast. I shared the video of that conversation about a year ago, but I thought I’d share again. It’s quite long (roughly 9 minutes), but I think you will find it very much worth your while. In the video, Ken and I discuss:

  • Conformity and standardization in our schools
  • The diversity of intelligence
  • The reason creativity is so vital - not just for our children, but for all of us
  • His book, "The Element: How finding your passion changes everything"
  • To have success, it's not enough to just be good at something… You must also love it
  • The difference between success and significance
  • The fact that a sense of purpose in life is what drives passion
  • And a whole lot more

If you are interested in learning more about Sir Ken Robinson, visit his website and follow him on Twitter.

Which of Sir Ken's comments most resonates with you?


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