Take a few minutes to listen to (or better yet, watch) Sir Ken Robinson’s talk from the 2006 TED conference.
My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy. And we should treat it with the same status.
What these things have in common [two stories he told] is that kids will take a chance. If they don’t know, they’ll have a go. They’re not frightened of being wrong.
Now, I’m not saying that being wrong is the same thing as being creative. What we do know is that If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.
And by the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong. And we run our companies this [way], by the way, we stigmatize mistakes.
And we’re now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst things you can make. And the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities.
Picasso once said that all children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up. I believe this passionately that we don’t grow into creativity, that we grow out of it. Or rather we get educated out of it.
He has much more to say about education, not just in the US but in most parts of the world. It is well worth twenty minutes of your time.