Lorenzo Ciacciavicca

Filmmaker/Director, Roots & Routes International

This conversation is closed.

Education kills Curiosity.

Other than destroying personality and oppress people - education is eliminating Curiosity in children and youngsters. Growing up in this society the way Ken Robinson described in his talk "Bring on the learning evolution" is - as he says - in line with the industrial and capitalist system promoting a linear thought. This system which is completely based on consume offers in my opinion an education which is linear in the sense of allowing people to ignore what they are doing and what's the system about. The thing that should be the base of education is curiosity, which allows everybody to understand the connections and focus on the questions "How?" and "Why?". Which is the opposite of the way Capitalism teaches you how to think.

Curiosity is the thing that would change that "linear" into "organic", that would fulfill all the needs of one person to think of what he wants and to take his decisions. To grow real and to be able to go different directions at the same time. And strangely curiosity is the base of what is missing completely into Education. And not only missing, it gets killed.

Closing Statement from Lorenzo Ciacciavicca

A big topic where a lot of people are on one side and others on the other side. Maybe this shows the importance of personal experience. A sign which says that most of the people cannot separate good things they had from the ones that slightly helped them to reach the good things? Or that maybe educational system if it is well considered can hide its problematics a bit?

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    Jan 1 2013: I have stated this in other TED conversations about education: people tend to misunderstand education. The school system is only a part of the education system; after the schools and the teachers have done their lot, it is then the responsibility of the learner to ask questions and seek answers.
    Nobody can teach creativity or innovation; in fact, one is not likely to be a creative or an innovator if one chooses to hold on to excuses.

    Education is a choice; it is a life-long process.
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      Jan 2 2013: This is a wise statement, Feyisayo, that deserves a separate focus: "In fact, one is not likely to be a creator or an innovator if one chooses to hold on to excuses." What's more, excuses tend often to be somewhere between caricatures (of a monster type) and myths that relieve people of a sense of responsibility for making the most rather than the least of the situations in which they find themselves.

      It is so often people of relative privilege in the world who hold on to excuses.

      Screenwriter and novelist Steven Pressfield calls this "Resistance."
  • Jan 8 2013: The alternative is what? No education? Wrong. Communication, math, and science skills matter. They help us better understand our curiosity and to put it to good use.

    Nothing is stopping anybody from going to a museum, reading a book, listening to music, or taking up a creative hobby like painting or playing the piano on their own.
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    Gail .

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    Dec 31 2012: In my opinion, the entire educational system should be reconstructed from the ground up. It begins with rethinking the purpose of education and continues through to rethinking the role of teachers. Grammar school should use very different techniques and have very different objectives than middle school, and middle school should be different from high school. But we don't do that. Why?

    Look at the US Dept. of Ed. Its mission statement is to prepare students for global competition. Now look at what it doesn't stand for. It doesn't stand for education. It doesn't stand for preparing students to live a full and rewarding life. It doesn't stand for preparing students to run a government that is "of, by, & 4 people". It doesn't even teach them critical thinking skills.

    To fulfill its mission, it lies about American history, tells half truths about other parts of it, and pretends that the most important parts don't exist. This is the opposite of education. Certainly high school students should be able to understand our fiscal system, but if they did, it would be a threat to the entire economy and sitting government that has turned a free people into willing workers for the system that was provably designed to turn them into commodities and tacit slaves.

    Teachers, who teach according to the understood purpose of education (get a good job that pays good money) are caught in a hierarchy mode. From the age of grade 2, I was well aware of how teachers disrespected students while demanding respect. These methods of teaching children that they are inferior and stupid is built into teaching techniques. It is more than just the subtle messages. It includes a student being required to call a teacher Mr/Mrs while the teacher calls the student by the first name - which is abusive and harmful.

    Do we still need to teach young ones the multiplication tables? YES. But we also need to allow them to explore why they are important. No 1 teaches "love of learning.
  • Jan 4 2013: Definitely agree Lorenzo. After working for long time, I really hate schools because I need to take time to relearn again.
  • Dec 31 2012: Personally, I feel that education does limit curiosity. Education limits curiosity by determining the subjects (often fixed and taught in uninteresting manners) that a student has to pass in order to graduate as well as the way in which students have to succeed.

    I have friends who have interests in subject areas other than what is taught in school. They try their best to do well in the subjects given to them but they fail to do so due to a lack of passion and/or drive. Imagine studying subjects that you cannot grasp or have no interest in for years. It is true that knowing how to take advantage of what education offers is a skill but from my experience, it is not a skill that can be grasped by all.

    Where does that leave the people who have passion in other areas but have their curiosity restrained? They are deemed as failures in an education system that never allowed for creativity in the first place, only rigorous standards of the "right" way to do things and the "wrong" way.

    Although it might be near impossible for schools to offer subjects that appeal to the interests of all students, I suggest that schools could be open to students' learning styles instead of limiting the way they succeed. For example, instead of demanding that all students churn out essays about topics, students could choose to act out their topic or make a video about it.

    Another factor in teaching is the passion of the teacher. In my opinion, a good teacher is one that not only has passion in teaching but who has experience in the related field. Only then can he/she give good examples of what he/she is teaching and interest the students in the subject's real world applications.

    These days, almost everyone thinks that there are certain paths to success and that to step off these paths is to earn little money and more likely than not, fail. I am also trying my best to walk off this path of thinking but it isn't easy as I have values of conformity inculcated in me already.
  • Jan 13 2013: In the United States, the heavy emphasis on reading, writing and maths at grade level through national testing has heavily suppressed creation and innovation. Those students who struggle are placed in remedial classes to "relearn" what they have not. Those who are advanced can be taught more creatively. But the "end all be all" is that test the students are required to take to determine academic competence. The tests, required by the NCLB, have no focus on creativity, only facts.

    If we want to become like those countries that have smart students, but lack creativity and innovation, then we should keep on this path.

    Great teachers try to be creative but run into the same wall. Students must pass these tests. So, the truly creative lessons go away in favor of pacing calendars, remedial instruction programs, and test strategies. To not do so puts one at odds with the administration and potentially a loss of job.

    But good programs are still out there. Great teachers still do teach well. To be truly creative we must go beyond the classroom and encourage the parents to do their parts. Good parents do this. Many parents simply place their children in front of the electronic babysitters and are happy that they are quiet. We are losing our education from the family and the values that we wish to see that you are addressing. Electronics and poor parenting are causing this loss of creativity. That is, in my opinion, the greatest threat to creativity.
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    Jan 6 2013: Refusal to learn kills curiosity. "Never let your schooling interfere with your education."-- Mark Twain.
  • Jan 3 2013: Killing is a strong word.

    Communism has a very similar approach where the individual is subjected to the will of 'the people' and what is 'needed' in society rather than what the individual wants to do. Individuals can act more freely in a Capitalist society rather than a Communist one. So communist education kills curiosity too but only after it tortures it.

    Having said that, I see our educational system as flawed and in need of revamping but not as the demonized 'personality killing' institution that you see. I see it as a system that tries not to reinvent the wheel on every cycle with every student. How many times do we need to discover DNA? How many times do we need to invent an airplane? How many times do we need to discover physics laws? If you establish the base and allow that curiosity to flourish the possibilities are endless. Curiosity is a 'desire to know' that should be used as a guiding tool but not as the end itself.
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    Jan 1 2013: I have stated this in other TED conversations about education: people tend to misunderstand education. The school system is only a part of the education system; after the schools and the teachers have done their lot, it is then the responsibility of the learner to ask questions and seek answers.
    Nobody can teach creativity or innovation; in fact, one is not likely to be a creative or an innovator if one chooses to hold on to excuses.

    Education is a choice; it is a life-long process.
    • Jan 11 2013: Exactly...people need to know the meaning of education.
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    Dec 31 2012: I would rather say current Certification System kills curiosity.....

    Logically if one is curious about something s/he will try to know / learn about it...once her/his appetite for learning is diminished thru the process curiosity should also get diminished if her/his learning don't push her/him to next level of curiosity.....and this is not dependant on any instutionalized form of education system (i prefer to say that Certification System as mentioned earlier) that Sir Ken Robinson referred.
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    Dec 31 2012: Many schools and teachers do a fantastic job of tapping into students' curiosity and showing them content and ideas that become a rich addition to the material on which they may draw for their creative undertakings, projects, and self-directed further learning. Knowing how to take advantage of what education offers is a highly valuable skill and the disposition to do so is a blessing.
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      Dec 31 2012: Yes this is true. Or better, it is half true. The potentials that teachers have to "tap into students' curiosity" it is not completely used from most of them. Well, some of them may do a good work, but the educational system I was talking about doesn't allow them to move in every kind of directions. Not allowing them to go into every direction is like giving some boundaries which make impossible for them to do anything really. A programme that is decided from a commission that usually works at national level will always uniform people between themselves, so personal curiosity gets very limited. You can do that if you are strong as a "student", or I would call it "person", but even if you are a strong teacher maybe the way you could do something is not working with the rest of the limits they give you.
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        Dec 31 2012: I don't think that allowing students in the pre-college grades to move "in every kind of direction" should be the goal. Education should, rather, give students a strong foundation for pursuing a broad range of directions, but attempting to expose students to every subject probably means not allowing them to achieve a level of basic competency in any.