Got to Move to Think: The Need for Creativity in Schools
A friend sent me a link to the following video. In it, Sir Ken Robinson, a famous educator from the UK, speaks to a crowd at a conference in California in 2006. It goes for twenty minutes, but is well worth a look. If you are interested in education (which Robinson points out, almost every human being is), this video is fascinating.
Robinson discusses the “extraordinary evidence of human creativity.” Robinson believes all children have talents. I agree with him. He also believes that the education system often squanders children’s natural curiosity, that children’s talents are ruthlessly ignored, or belittled or remain unencouraged. He argues that schools can kill children’s creativity.
Robinson also believes that creativity is as important as literacy. In education, creativity should be “treated with the same status”. He says that we know three things about intelligence:
- It is diverse; we think in all the ways we experience the world (visually, abstractly, through sound, through movement and so on)
- It is dynamic; the brain is remarkably interactive
- It is distinct
Sir Ken Robinson points out that children who started school in 2006, will retire in 2065. That means they are heading into a future that is completely unknown. The brightest minds in the world have no certainty what the world will look like in even five years’ time, let alone fifty. And yet we, as parents and teachers, are supposed to be educating them for it. What an extraordinary task!
If you have the time, watch the whole video; Robinson is a very powerful speaker and a great thinker. In particular, a story from this speech stood out for me. In it, Robinson recalls a young girl who was taken to a child psychologist. All the adults around her were anxious about her lack of concentration and her disruption of others in her class.
After their consultation, the psychologist turned on the radio and led the girl’s mother from the room. There, they stood at the doorway and observed the girl, who stood and suddenly began to dance. “Put your daughter into dance lessons,” the psychologist told her mother. “She isn’t sick. She’s a dancer.” This girl later said how she had to move to think. She grew to become one of the most successful choreographers of the twentieth century, all because one mother made her daughter’s creativity a priority.