Do you feel uncreative? Are you scared to do anything creative without someone giving you exact, step by step directions? Are you scared to mess up?
It may help you to go back in time to remember what your education was like? Do you think it may have had anything to do with your inability to be creative?
There is a wildly popular TED talk (watched by close to 11 million people so far) by Sir Ken Robinson titled Do schools kill creativity . He also has a book called “Out of Our Minds” which most closely relates to his TED talk.
There must be a reason that that talk has been viewed so many times and his book is so popular. It obviously has struck a chord in millions of people.
His premise: (in a nutshell) Most schools ruin kids creativity
A hundred years ago or so our society was an agricultural one. There was not much education available as all hands were needed in the fields just to survive. Even young children.
Then came the industrial revolution. Young children were used in the factories as well and still didn’t get the education they needed. School was for the elites.
It wasn’t until child labor became outlawed that public education was developed..
However, it was developed to meet the needs of the industrial revolution. These young children that were now going to be allowed to go to school as opposed to work needed to be prepared to work as they grew up, mostly in factories.
Public education was developed around the principals needed for such work.
And so public education became
Sounding even more familiar?
In a nutshell, they forget to take the kids into account. To see children as people and not robots.
Today we realize that education needs to produce thoughtful, creative, self confident people who can analyze information and generate new ideas on their own…
Nobody seemed to know this back then which is why Sir Ken Robinson said that…
“Many people succeed only after they have recovered from their education”
How sad that you couldn't use your creativity in your education and that it's only after you're done with it that you can start tapping into your creative potential.
If you had strong academic abilities you probably never got to see if you had any creative ability. If you had a lower academic ability then you were probably beaten down for this without ever getting credit for your other dormant creative abilities.
Academic activity is NOT the determination of intelligence but, you would never have known that in school right?.
Your needs were overlooked in favor of political agendas, building codes, testing regimens, state standards ....in other words...perfect kids.
As a real concrete example of how this type of thinking manifests itself we can look at the very beginning of schooling in the preschool, kindergarten years.
There is not much book learning in early years and as a result young childerns' early school years are filled with lots of arts and crafts projects.
In creating these crafts there is little creativity or thought allowed …Instead there are…
This type of crafts undermines self esteem, suppresses self expression and creativity and does not allow for any individual thinking or planning. (for more on this see my kids art blog Edu Art 4 Kids)
This is just the beginning of what goes on in schools starting in the early years which should help you begin to understand why you feel so uncreative.
Creativity starts getting squashed in preschool without ever allowing it to blossom throughout your school years.
So how in heavens name would you have EVER even known that you actually have natural creative potential. (unless you were one of the lucky ones who had a creative home environment)
This post is not a full treatise in any way on the ills of education and creativity. It's also not about telling how to reawaken your dormant creativity, that's what this blog is for.
It is however, about hearing from you about this topic.
Does this all ring true to you? Are the pieces starting to fall into place?
What was your experience with school and creativity?
I’d love to start a discussion and hear more about your experiences it in the comments below..