I am about to do some world-class gushing, be warned.
Maybe I live under a rock and all you folks out there know this man and the work he does, but oh. my. goodness. He rocked my world yesterday. Sir Ken Robinson. He gave a TED conference speech asking if schools kill creativity.
First off, he is an incredible public speaker. I am super jealous of that. His cadence, humor and openness are enviable. Second, he makes outstanding points. Please take the time to watch it. What he is saying is so important to the creative industry we work in.
His main point is all children have creative talent and the education system tends to squash it. He references Picasso who said all children are born artists, the problem is to remain artists as they grow up. Sir Robinson argues that there is a hierarchy in education where the most useful subjects (ones aimed at getting you a job) are up at the top and the less useful subjects (music, art) are at the bottom. As a result, highly talented, creative children think the thing they were in good in at school isn't valued and often quit pursuing it.
He concludes that in order to move into a future where innovation and creativity reign as problem solving forces, we need to radically rethink our definition of intelligence. And the school system that currently defines it.
After being totally in awe listening to his speech, I was even more amazed at his contribution to a huge number of organizations that foster creativity in education. This man has spent his career concerning himself with teaching, mentoring, growing, helping people all in the name of creativity.
When I grow up, I want to be Sir Ken Robinson.