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Is there a lack of creativity in education and work?

By on Nov 4, 2013 in Change, Education, Systems, Work |

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I was listening to Desert Island Discs with Sir Ken Robinson last Sunday. He spoke of the need more creativity in schools and in education in general. He believes that too many people have no sense of their true talents and passions and – contrary to popular myth – creativity and innovation can be taught in a deliberate and systematic way, in same that way. What we need, he thinks, is a learning revolution and that schools are increasingly killing creativity.

He perceives the problem has its origins in a disturbed and broken system that only appreciates a linear model of learning and growing, and that certain talents have become more valued that others and as a result we value the expertise of a lawyer over the expertise of a mother, for example. We see it in our educational curriculum – there is a standardised curriculum and we treat our children like sausages on a conveyor belt and institutions and schools have become blinded by targets and measures and no longer seem to wonder at what is happening to the individual sausage in all this.

This is very resonant of my experiences of work and my own journey in work. We seem to have become so absorbed in our industrial and rationalist worldview that we no longer see that we aren’t widgets, we are humans. We are all different from one another and all have different talents and gifts. Sir Ken Robinson would say we need to move to an agricultural model…I would call it a permaculture model, we need to nurture the talents that are present and use them to all our benefit.

When I think about the times I get real enjoyment it has rarely been in the traditional structure of education or work, but much more when I have reached outside those traditional frames and played with creativity.

My question for myself and for you, is how can you be more creative and find joy through playing in a different way?