Sir Ken Robinson defines creativity as “the process of having original ideas
that create value”. He reiterates that it is a process and not a
random act of inspiration, and that it needs to prove its worth. He points out that creativity is not the opposite to formality – instead a
mixture of discipline and space to innovate are required. Robinson contends that
“creativity is as important as literacy and should be treated as
such.” Our schools are currently designed, like he said, in a
hierarchy, in which specific skills, namely math and languages, are
valued over others.
Sir Robinson mentioned a couple reasons why having this hierarchy is ridiculous:
The purpose of education shouldn't be to get into college.
Believe in high standards does not mean education has to be standardized.
We don't need to reform education -- we need to transform it.
Creativity is a part of not apart from intelligence.
We don't grow in to creativity, we get educated out of it. One of the reasons why an academic hierarchy is ultimately futile is because people cannot accurately assign value to skills that may or may not be valuable in 30, 20, or even 10 years. If we cannot accurately assess what skills children will need for the future- how can we place a value or emphasis on any particular skill now? Sir Robinson further ridiculed the stress we place on children to be right and not make mistakes. Children, and people in general, need to be willing to make mistakes in order to create an innovation. In fact, some of the most well-known products (penicillin, coca-cola, etc) are the results of what was initially a 'mistake.' This all-out rejection of mistakes stifles creativity, perhaps, more than any one factor in our schools and in society.
By finding new ways to praise children’s efforts and ideas, and less ways to assess them on their mistakes, we will embrace the initiative to rethink the fundamental ways we educate children in the context of their endlessly, vast capabilities.