Ken Robinson – Learning to Be Creative

From David Shenk’s Genius Blog

Here are excerpts from a talk Ken Robinson gave at a conference. I had never heard of him before this, but I think I’m going to pick up his book, Out of our Minds, Learning to be Creative. The improvisers will notice the similarity to Keith Johnstone. A few choice quotes:

If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.

All kids have tremendous talents, and we squander them pretty ruthlessly.

Kids will take a chance…By the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong. [We stigmatize mistakes.] We’re now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make. The result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities. Picasso once said that all people are born artists, and the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up. I believe this passionately, that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it, or rather we get educated out of it.

Our education system is predicated on the idea of academic ability. The whole system was invented around the world to meet the needs of industrialism…So you were steered benignly away from things at school when you were a kid, things you liked, on the grounds that you would never get a job doing that. Isn’t that right? Don’t do music, you’re not going to be a musician. Don’t do art, you’re not going to be an artist. Benign advice — now profoundly mistaken.

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