Education and Creativity

When I was 10, in elementary art class, my art teacher challenged what I was painting.

“It is a sunset!” I said with excitement at the stripes of red, orange, pink and blue.

She responded,”Sunsets don’t look like that. Throw it away and start over.”

I was devastated at the instruction as I loved sunsets and the one I was painting was from the night just before when I was in the car with my mom. I shared the story with my mom and she encouraged me to paint it again. (She also, being a teacher at the same school, had a few choice words for the art instructor.)

In the bridge to a revolution in creativity in education, those of us with any influence in children’s lives have a responsibility to encourage and foster that creativity. Children come out of the womb able to create. You don’t have to tell them what to do with Play-Doh, they just intrinsically know. And, this is all children – not just the gifted few. Slowly through life and being told time and time again that there are two types of people: creative and not, the unfortunate truth is that most of us lump ourselves into the “not” category. Let’s reclaim our creativity in dance, painting, design, writing and everything else. And – Let’s not wait until all the public school systems in the world figure out how to motivated creativity; let’s do what WE can now.

Click the link to watch the TED video that inspired this post. Its wildly convincing. Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity.

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