Are schools killing creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson argues that education reform is not the answer, because it would mean simply reforming “a broken system.” Robinson calls for an “education revolution” that battles against the “tyranny of common sense” which hypnotizes into believing certain untruths. He cites Abraham Lincoln, who said:

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

Robinson says we need to let go of our idea of a “linear narrative” – in which the college we attend determines our fate – and instead recognize the fact that we live – and learn – organically. He argues we have too limited a notion of “ability,” and would do well to appreciate the diversity of talent and creativity, and encourage passion in our students as much as learning. The answer, he says, is to personalize education for the people you are teaching.

Robinson’s talk is filled with great humor, as well as a particularly smart tale involving a student who wanted to be “just a fireman.” It’s a follow-up to his talk from 2006, in which he argues kids are “educated out of creativity.”