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Prasil Koirala

Student , Rato Bangala School

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Schools do not kill creativity

I didn't like the thesis in this talk by Sir Robinson. In my opinion, creativity develops on the soil of knowledge. Knowledge is the food that we get in schools. Food should be given in an organized manner and in the order of importance. And comparing dance class with mathematics, in my view, was completely rubbish. I wonder if I could ever get to use a computer if people of history spent their time dancing away.

Topics: education
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  • May 17 2012: I hope you've not understood my comment to mean that I don't see foundational knowledge as a precursor to higher forms of creativity. Quite the opposite. Yes, there is an underlying set of prerequisite concepts that one must learn through the tedium of memorization and practice (although that's probably an unkind way of putting it, so please forgive the injection of personal cynicism). My contention is with the all-too-common segregation of subjects both from each other and from their constituent parts.
    Take ballet for example; as you correctly stated, the 'prerequisite' is the muscle memory and kinetic language learnt at the barre. But unlike the teaching of many 'non-artistic' subjects, a dancer is encouraged to explore beyond the rules. Now I'm not saying that a good teacher doesn't inspire his/her students to do the same in other disciplines, but it seems that the trend is toward exclusivity of focus. A Modern Dance or Jazz Dance teacher expects a student to draw from ballet (as does a physics teacher expect their students to draw from mathematics), but the conversation stretches beyond that. A dance student isn't often left wondering whether they're allowed to break the rules of formal technique (so long as they're aware of why they're doing so), but I find this freedom somewhat lacking in traditional education.
    Statistics made sense AFTER calculus, but was taught before it. Organic Chemistry made sense AFTER Bio Chemistry, but again taught before it. I strongly feel that the underlying principles of most, if not all subjects can be better comprehended when paired with a more generous serving of things to come. It's all part of the greater system, so why share it? It's the ignition of interest and exploration that I believe sparks the motivation to understand, and that's really REALLY hard to do when the microscope is so often set to such an exclusively high level of magnification.
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      May 17 2012: I guess its easier to teach science and maths in a boring way and focus too much on test results.
      As to why scientists juggle but don't dance, maybe its our introverted nature. You can learn to juggle alone in your room, not many of us have a room big enough to really dance in :-)

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