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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Conform or Be Creative? Your Choice

Here's a quote from a recent Adobe-sponsored study called State of Create:

“One of the myths of creativity is that very few people are really creative,” said Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D., an internationally recognized leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation. “The truth is that everyone has great capacities but not everyone develops them. One of the problems is that too often our educational systems don’t enable students to develop their natural creative powers. Instead, they promote uniformity and standardization. The result is that we're draining people of their creative possibilities and, as this study reveals, producing a workforce that's conditioned to prioritize conformity over creativity.”

Maybe it seemed like a good idea when first dreamed up, but the "No Child Left Behind Act" of 2001 which made teachers and school districts responsible for their students' achievements had the unexpected result of "teaching to the test." In many cases students were now tutored to pass the institutionalized tests and too often this was achieved by rote memorization of the one answer on a multiple choice exam.

I'm not saying that's there's no need for rote memorization, but it should only be a small part of learning a subject. There should be experimentation, research, and exploration. Yes, there's a right answer but hey, there's more answers out there that might be worthy of consideration.

Do you know what's going on in your child's school?

Let's not prioritize conformity, let's allow the students to be creative.