Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.

Education and Creativity

As technology progresses, the world is becoming more automated. Following up on my post from yesterday about right brain vs. left brain thinking, in the future I believe it will be important to have more right brain thinkers. Parts of our jobs that are repetitive or replicable will be automated and performed by computers or machines. People will need to learn new skill sets in order to survive in the 21st century. This has nothing to outsourcing. It will be the natural outcome of the ever-changing improvements in technology.

We need to promote creativity to stay afloat, and it has to start in the schools.

Sir Ken Robinson is a British author, speaker, and advisor on education, innovation, and creativity. His TED Talk about creativity in schools is one of the highest watched videos they’ve ever had. If you ever went to school, know people who go to school, or have children who attend school (did that cover everyone) and only ever watch one video on a blog, I hope you choose this one.

This kid, Logan Laplant, is really cool. I hope my daughter will grow up to be this well-rounded. This is what education should be like. If you ever watch two videos on a blog, this might be a good second choice.

Our industrial age education system has reached the end of the road. We need leaders and employees who can problem solve, who can think outside the box. The time for rote knowledge has passed. We need to ensure that our next generation can operate in situations of uncertainty instead of being paralyzed when there is not a “right” answer. They will need to use both sides of their mind, not just the logical portion. We need to continue to promote creativity in schools.

6 comments on “Education and Creativity

  1. Katie
    March 1, 2013

    Hey T (may I call you T? I like to abbreviate names, it makes me happy). I wanted to “like” this post a hundred times!! I totally agree with promoting creativity in schools, which is exactly what most public education is currently veering away from. Their funding is being cut and the first things to go are those that encourage right brain activity – drama/debate, music, art, language arts/culture studies, etc. I think this is a very, very bad precedent and as our kids get older and into middle school/high school, I fear we will be setting them up for failure. At least as far as being in the workforce goes.

    • tracycembor
      March 1, 2013

      T is fine, but if you want to know an embarrassing secret, my nickname in high school was Pika after a certain cartoon rodent who shared my favorite color, yellow.

      “Teaching for the test” is the worst thing teachers can do for their students. All of your academic success goes out the window the minute you get your first post-college job. After that point, no one cares if you had a 1560 SAT score, a 4.25 GPA, and were captain of the girls’ golf team. They only care about what your performance was last quarter.

      Okay, maybe this post is a bit more personal than I first let on. I did everything I was supposed to do for 22 years – got good grades, did extracurricular activities, spoke Chinese, and I ended up getting a sales job. The sales guy sitting next to me took 5 years to get his undergrad and barely had a 3.0 in his major. His overall GPA was even worse. I don’t think he ever left his frat house while he was in college.

      I’ve had to spend the last 10 years reprogramming myself so I could be successful in the real world. I decided what was important to me and went back to school. Hopefully I can save some people from the heartache I had before it is too late.

  2. Przemek Kucia
    March 1, 2013

    Education system hit the end a long time ago, probably the next day it was designed as unified “system” without much room to innovate. I would say todays education kills creativity by undermining both processes – left brain detail oriented and holistic right brain activity by promoting knowledge over “thinking” – so in this matter I agree fully.

    What I do not agree is that school promotes any brain process other than memorization (in a twisted, archaic way). There was no hardcore logic, there was no inference 101, we didn’t learn how to analyze – we were suppose to memorize formulas, facts, dates and so and not to follow processes as they were/are working. Oh, and of course this concerns polish system, but I reckon it isn’t that fundamentally different from other systems.

    My take would be let the children play, let the kids learn basic skills, meet teens with game changers (classical education from early Greeks to Michio Kaku – there wasn’t so much game changers so time won’t be a problem ;)), challenge students with field (medical, law) knowledge or yet unsolved problems/projects depending on their interests. Update system to fluid, gamificated, experience needing times of information overload.

    Great post as always :D

    • Przemek Kucia
      March 1, 2013

      I meant your post is great as always xD
      Take care :)

      • tracycembor
        March 1, 2013

        No worries, I understood what you meant. Your English is much better than mine. Trust me, I flub it up all the time.

    • tracycembor
      March 1, 2013

      Memorization is only the first step in learning. Application is the second step, and inference was the third. I remember in college, my international trade theory professor had an exam question where we had to make inferences about a particular theory. I couldn’t do the question. My brain literally was unable to imagine the theory as being different from what I was taught it was.

      I was furious with that professor for a long time. I thought the question was unfair and that it didn’t really test what I had studied in the class. Eventually though, I realized I should have been angry at all the other teachers before him, how they had failed to train me in the skills I really needed to succeed.

      Children need to experience the real world. We wall them up in the classroom, and they have no idea how the world really works. I think all children should have camps and internships during school breaks so they can get some insight. I think that would also solve the problem of students going to college and not knowing what they want to do with their lives.

      Way to name drop Michio Kaku. If it is related to science or technology, odds are you can find something that he has said about it.

      (and here he is for everyone who might not have run across him yet. )

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on February 28, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , .

Posting Schedule for 2014-15

Monday through Friday I will be posting about writing as business and craft, the science of creativity, all things steampunk, and progress on The Dreamless City.

Weekends are reserved for my Music Playlist.

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About the Author

Tracy Cembor attempts to juggle a preschooler and a baby, a full-time job, random geekery, and the writing life. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a steampunk urban fantasy novel. Come join the adventure.
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