by Vasco Duarte
A while ago I told you guys about Gary Hamel and his view on how you can (and need to) make ‘the organization of the future’: Get the most innovative and creative people out there and make sure they stay. Of course, there’s something that comes before. Because if we need creativity and innovation as the main quality in our workers, we should educate our children to become those creatives. And that’s where the challenge is according to Ken Robinson. In this fantastic and quite hilarious TED talk, he makes clear what is wrong with our current education systems.
Mistakes aren’t that bad
He starts with how strange it is we try to educate people for a future we can’t even grasp, we don’t even know what will happen in five years. Well, we know one thing; we are going to need smart and innovative people. At the same time we have an education system that teaches us mistakes are the worst things that can happen. According to Robinson, “We are educating people out of their creative capacities.”
If you are not prepared to be wrong, you never come up with something new. Kids loose that capacity once they’re grown-ups.Ken Robinson
Creativity, as important as literacy
So, we need change. Starting with re-defining intelligence. Everywhere in the world education systems are about academic ability. And for long that was precisely what we needed, it’s a system that answers the needs of industrialism. What we now need, is to look in a different way. We can’t afford not to. Robinson takes it a step further, “Creativity is as important as literacy and we should treat it with the same status”. He wonders why we don’t teach our children dance at school. It’s something all kids do, but plays no role in what we think is important. “We educate our children from the waist up, towards their head. And than one side of their brains.” It’s true; the logical, analytic left-sided thinkers are valued most in our society.
Diverse, dynamic and distinct
So is there something we can do? Luckily, there is. Robinson tells us we know three things about intelligence; it’s diverse, it’s dynamic and it’s distinct. Let’s no longer ‘mine the brains of our children for one commodity’, but let’s see what else there is. How can you help? By not telling your kids ‘they probably won’t be an artist so they better choose economics’. But by encouraging them right from the start to discover and work on their creative and innovative talents. And when they make a mistake, don’t tell them they are wrong, but that they are closer to being right.
PS: check the full video below, it is worth it!
Photo: Tim Wright (Unsplash)