Saving Creativity

Taking a quick break today from our Boundary Breaking God sneak peeks because I just love this video and feel like sharing it. Sir Ken Robinson speaks in this TED video about the role of creativity in education, and I think he’s right on. He’s also written a number of books that I’m slowly making my way through.

Robinson’s central point is that our education system teaches children to “live in their heads, and slightly to one side.” He talks about the idea of a human ecology, where we “reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity. Our education system has mined our minds in the way that we’ve strip-mined the earth for a particular commodity. And for the future, it won’t service. We have to rethink the fundamental principles by which we educate our children.”

What kind of education do we need to prepare children for a future where we need highly creative solutions to our biggest problems? What can we do to prevent our children’s (and our own) creativity from being dismissed, squashed or overlooked?


  1. We could start by enriching arts education in public schools. People need to understand that learning to think creatively isn’t just about painting. It’s the lifeblood of a vibrant culture and economy. Where does innovation come from if people are only trained to regurgitate the answers we already have? Also, creativity is one of the few resources that actually multiplies as we use it.

  2. Agreed. And it seems that often when we teach the arts, it’s done in a rigid way- “paint THIS” etc. Creativity is a resource we cannot afford to squander- and why would we want to?!

  3. It depends on the reason why art is being taught. If the purpose is to train artists, then the rigid approach is essential in the first few years. It’s pretty much learn the rules so you know how to break them.

    If art is being taught not for the purpose of art as a discipline, but rather as a means to foster creativity in general, then I agree, there is no reason for a rigid approach.

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