Schools Kill Creativity Essay

William Glanz Professor Wald Eng. 111 October 27, 2012 Creativity in Our Schools Sir Ken Robinson’s lecture “Schools Kill Creativity,” on why schools should change is extremely interesting. He mixed humor into his speeches which enabled him to keep the audience interested in what he was saying. Although he stated truths about our current educational system, Robinson does not give any concrete ways to approach the change within our system. How can we bring education into the 21st century? It’s a mind boggling thought. Educators are already coming together and brainstorming reforms within the current educational system.

It will take many years, however, before the new standards are incorporated in our schools. The world changed over a decade ago, however education has failed to keep up with the demands for student success. Robinson stated that “fertile minds need feeding” (Robinson). He’s right. How do we keep children with active imaginations from becoming bored? Intelligence is “diverse, dynamic, and distinct” (Robinson). Others also agree with him. Sir Jim Rose is highly regarded in the educational community. He is formally Her Majesty Inspector and Director Oof Inspection for the office for Standards in Education.

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Rose is currently President of the National Foundation for Educational Research in Great Britain. He recommends moving away from “subjects” (Shepherd). He reported that, “bloated curriculum was leaving children with shallow knowledge and understanding” (Shepherd). First, Robinson speaks of children’s creativity. They are “not afraid of making mistakes” (Robinson). That, I believe, is the curious aspect of a child’s thinking process. In a child’s mind there is a wonder and an eagerness which is eventually stifled by our current system. “Curriculums should be much more personalized,” argues Robinson (Shepherd).

He also states, “Learning happens in the minds and the souls, not the database of multiple-choice tests” (Shepherd). I would have to agree, the word “test”, or pop quiz can have a negative effect upon a child. Some, like me, “freeze” while others excel. Can taking tests be a true picture of what children really know? Secondly, schools around the world focus more on the main subjects of reading, writing, and math (Galanis). Science also plays an important role in the educational process. I think children need more than these main subjects. “Music, dance, and art can benefit children of all ages,” noted Robinson (Galanis).

I believe if they can integrate more subjects that children find appealing, they would excel in school. Physical Education is another important class for children to take. With the obesity epidemic in the United States, physical education should be offered on a daily basis rather than 2 or 3 times a week. Exercise would also give the children a way to get rid of the excess energy they have built up from sitting long periods of time in their classes. Thirdly, Robinson speaks of children learning on different levels. Everyone he announced “absorbs knowledge differently” (Shepherd). If a child becomes bored, their minds tend to drift away.

During this time if they are bored, no knowledge will be absorbed by the child. This can cause frustration in children, and it can also lower their self-esteem. Fourth, Robinson speaks about teachers. The classrooms are overcrowded and some children fall through the cracks unnoticed. This is unfortunate. He states, “These children grow to adulthood not prepared for the challenges life will bring” (Robinson). Teachers play an important role in a child’s education. A negative response to a child can crush their creativity. I unfortunately know this first hand. When I was in 4th grade my art teacher had us pick a picture to draw.

My assignment was to draw a rose. There was no depth or definition to the picture I was given, so I decided to draw a rose from my grandmother’s garden. I took a chair outside along with my pencil and paper and drew. Upon turning in my assignment, the teacher said it was too perfect and I had to have traced it. I found this insulting. Drawing is in my blood; my mother, grandfather and great grandmother draw. No matter what I said the art teacher did not believe me. So I took the drawing and my rose on the blackboard so my teacher could not say I traced it. The teacher didn’t like what I did to prove myself.

After that incident we didn’t get along. But that never stopped me from doing what I love. As the educational system must change, so teachers must also change the way they speak to children. Many professional educators agree with Robinson. Anna Craft, a professor of education at the University of Exeter stated, “It’s not that we need to tweak the recipe-we need a new recipe” (Galanis). Another Professor, Teresa Cremin, commented on the subject of change, “Despite all the money, initiatives and trendsetting, the concept is still not filtering down into the classroom” (Rieland). This is truly sad.

Bring this change to into the 21st century will take an enormous brainstorming by our educators. When change does occur, everyone will truly benefit. Children and teachers will have a better school experience. Other countries are revising their curriculums, the way children should learn and how teachers teach. One such country is Finland. Finland’s educational system is currently enjoying the rewards of their success. They embrace the arts (Hancock). Before Finland came up with their current curriculum, many educators formed a team along with a nurse, social worker, and a psychologist that addresses the needs of a child (Hancock). Equality” is most important in their culture (Hancock). Finnish educators prepare children “to learn not to take tests” (Hancock). The proof of their success is in the fact that Finland’s children are ranked number one in reading in the world (Hancock). In 2003, they led the world in Math and in Science, ranking number 1 of 57 countries (Hancock). In my opinion, these results are truly amazing. Finnish teachers and children truly enjoy play time and have incorporated the arts into their daily routine of learning successfully. If Finland succeeded why can’t the United States and other countries do so as well?

All things can be adapted to suit a nation of people who are bi-lingual and bi-cultural. Diversity in these areas was overcome by Finland. We too have a diverse nation. Can we not adapt and again become a leader in the world of education? The first barrier to overcome is the policy of standardized testing. I don’t believe this is a true picture of what a child knows. Secondly, the ranking system is degrading and should be discontinued. Children retain information differently. They excel in subjects that appeal to them. However, if the subject is boring, the information being imparted to them will not be retained.

This will affect their ranking in their class. I really enjoyed TED Talk. It was thought provoking. He delivered his lecture with a sense of humor. He seemed to be relaxed and spoke with extensive knowledge on the subject of school curriculums. Although, he delivered his speech with a sense of humor, Robinson did not offer any possible solutions to the educational problems. His lecture on education would have been beneficial if he had mentioned a plan to correct the decade old curriculum we have today. Could Robinson have deliberately left the solutions out of his speech?

Did he want us to think for ourselves on how to change our educational dilemma? I would recommend TED Talk to everyone. It is a good learning tool. Works Cited Galanis, Philip C. “The Ideal Education System. ” The Nassau Guardian. Online Newspaper. 22 Aug. 2011. Web 25 Oct. 2012. http://www. thenassauguardia. com/theidealeducationsystem Hancock, LynNell. “Why Are Finland’s Schools Successful? ” Smithsonian Magazine. Sept. 2011. Web 25 Oct. 2012. www. smithsonianmag. com/people-places/Why-Are-Finlands-SchoolsSuccessful. html Rieland, Randy. “A Cheat Sheet to Help Schools Foster Creativity. Smithsonian Magazine. 22 Aug. 2011 Web 25 Oct. 2012. http://blogs. smithsonianmag. com/ideas/2011/08/caneducation-and-creativity-mix/ Robinson, Sir Ken. “Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity. ” Video on TED. com. 2006. Film. TED Talks. www. ted. com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity. html Shepard, Jessica. “Fertile Minds Need Feeding: Interview with Ken Robinson. ” The Guardian. Newspaper. 9 Feb. 2009. Web 26 Oct 2012. http://www. guardian. co. uk/education/2009/feb/10/teaching-sats STANDARD WRITING SCORING GUIDE| Student name ________________________________ Paper Grade ___________ |

STANDARD| FAILS TO MEET| MEETS| EXCEEDS| Thesis * Proceeds with purpose (understands rhetorical situation, answers question, or addresses problem) * Is focused and sustained * Pursues sophistication and complexity| – – – – -| – – – – -| – – – – -| Development and Support * Explores complexity through full, sensitive discussion of ideas and information * Provides sufficient, relevant, and specific support * Chooses information that is credible and appropriate for the writing situation * Deploys information accurately and appropriately (i. . summary, paraphrase, quotation) * Evidence is discussed fully, sensitively, and persuasively * Sensitive to audience reactions (e. g. confusion or objections)| – – – – -| – – – – -| – – – – -| Organization, Structure, and Coherence * Arranges and sequences information appropriately for audience, purpose, and situation. * Employs logical, consistent, and coherent organizational units (e. g. paragraphs, “chunks,” sections) * Highlights connections between ideas and builds coherence (e. g. ransitional words or sentences, repeating key terms) * Introduces and concludes effectively| – – – – -| – – – – -| – – – – -| Language * Chooses a tone and level of formality that is appropriate for audience, purpose, and situation * Employs sophisticated, engaging language * Uses language and syntax for deliberate effect * Employs precise word choice| – – – – -| – – – – -| | Mechanics * Follows appropriate conventions for spelling and grammar * Cites sources according to relevant conventions| – – – – -| – – – – -| |

STANDARD| FAILS TO MEET| MEETS| EXCEEDS| Thesis * Proceeds with purpose (understands rhetorical situation, answers question, or addresses problem) * Is focused and sustained * Pursues sophistication and complexity| – – – – -| – – – – -| – – – – -| Development and Support * Explores complexity through full, sensitive discussion of ideas and information * Provides sufficient, relevant, and specific support * Chooses information that is credible and appropriate for the writing situation * Deploys information accurately and appropriately (i. . summary, paraphrase, quotation) * Evidence is discussed fully, sensitively, and persuasively * Sensitive to audience reactions (e. g. confusion or objections)| – – – – -| – – – – -| – – – – -| Organization, Structure, and Coherence * Arranges and sequences information appropriately for audience, purpose, and situation. * Employs logical, consistent, and coherent organizational units (e. g. paragraphs, “chunks,” sections) * Highlights connections between ideas and builds coherence (e. g. ransitional words or sentences, repeating key terms) * Introduces and concludes effectively| – – – – -| – – – – -| – – – – -| Language * Chooses a tone and level of formality that is appropriate for audience, purpose, and situation * Employs sophisticated, engaging language * Uses language and syntax for deliberate effect * Employs precise word choice| – – – – -| – – – – -| | Mechanics * Follows appropriate conventions for spelling and grammar * Cites sources according to relevant conventions| – – – – -| – – – – -| |

Basic Guidelines Meets all standards and exceeds in at least one = AMeets all standards = BFails to meet one standard = CFails to meet two standards = DFails to meet three standards = F| Comments:|

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