TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

How can we improve education in such a way that it promotes, supports, nurture and facilitates creativity?

We all know that our education systems, worldwide, are killing creativity. This is the cause of all the problems on earth because education is the supplier of human capital to all the industries. So, how can we solve this problem in such a way that maximum results are obtained?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 25 2013: the answer is simple and impossible - reduce class sizes to a one-to-one ratio.

    creativity cannot be taught. it can only be fostered with support and time - both of these are logistically difficult in current schools systems.

    also, the focus needs to come off assessment systems and onto individual students..many people balk at this idea and cannot fathom education without traditional, standardised testing..
    • thumb
      Oct 26 2013: Teaching children how to be creative is very important. We teach people carpentry. Maybe you were referring to mental processes? Teaching children how to think is very important as well. We do that all the time as well when we teach math and logic and philosophy. There are plenty of ways to teach people how to use their thought process to be more creative. Why would you say that creativity can't be taught? I am not getting something here.
      • thumb
        Oct 29 2013: I would love to see the text book on how to be creative.

        It cannot be taught because it is not like teaching a set of skills as you would with carpentry, even though creativity has obviously been involved in the development of carpentry techniques over the years.

        It cannot be taught because it is extremely subjective - it would be the antithesis of creativity itself to assess the level of someone's creativity and make no mistake, in education, this must happen. Not because it is the only (or even a good) way to operate education systems but because of the financial and political elements involved.

        What can be done is discussing the value of coming up with new ideas but how would you teach someone to have a new idea other than encourage one?

        Allowing time and opportunities to be creative is vital and this should be catered for in schools.

        Also, valuing the efforts made by students is important as well as teaching them how to self-evaluate and articulate the process they went through (which would maybe give other students ideas about how to do something similar).

        There is also the danger of confusing the process of being creative and the outcome. Striving to create is laudable but the end result often is not (other than it's value as being part of developing the creative process itself).
        • thumb
          Oct 29 2013: The only prerequisite is curiosity. Given that, yes I can teach people to be more creative, everyone is inherently creative; it comes with the brain architecture. People could not survive in our society without being creative. Maybe we are using the word differently? This statement would not even be controversial in the neurological or psychiatric field, I am pretty sure.

          Yes, I do in fact have techniques that I use to teach people to increase their creative abilities. This is not theory I am discussing. I already do this. Thank you for the book idea. I will get started on it right away. Actually I will incorporate it into the one I am working on now. I feel a little silly for not having thought of it before.

          Yes, I am talking about the creative process which is directly linked to the 'product' as you say. The better the process, the better the product. Just remember, the fact that you cannot conceive of how to teach creativity or that your reality model does not permit it does NOT mean that it cannot be done. It just means that you don't know how. Other people with a different way of looking at things may have solved the problem, such as in this case. Thanks for the reply.
      • thumb
        Oct 30 2013: my thought is that this is merely one of the current trends in education. Obi Wan Ken Robinson does a nice talk but offers very little in the way of practical application to improve 'the system'.

        i agree with you that the potential for creativity is innate in all of us and yet it is an ephemeral concept rather than a set of skills. by setting parameters to be taught or adhered to, you would be restricting the very thing that, at it's heart, requires no restrictions.

        that's the main reason i said that it cannot be taught, only catered for.

        i cannot agree that the creative process automatically leads to quality content. in fact, it rarely does, so banging on about creativity sounds great and, like so many things in this modern information/propaganda age, looks good on paper but that's about it.

        the problems within most educational institutes will not be solved by any current models. the time, money and expertise restrictions prohibit any robust improvements in fostering creativity.

        better to encourage a change in attitude in all those people that prefer to see black and white test scores over subjective or individual success criteria because current assessment practices are the greatest limiting factor in education systems and are holding back all kinds of progress.

        a student-centered curriculum is far more important than teaching creativity - it puts the reins in the student's hands and this, more than anything else, encourages students to take control of their learning which in turn leads to confidence in their ideas and approach to education.
        • thumb
          Oct 30 2013: OK. One of the first things is to recognize that just because we don't understand something does not mean it is not correct. It is important to question the person that says something that we find implausible. That is the only way to expand horizons. Of course if one believes that the already understand the universe under discussion, well then not only can I not teach them how to be creative but no one can teach them anything. You may fit into that category, I don't know but you certainly did not pose any questions. So, maybe you are correct with respect to yourself. I did not mean to say that everyone can be taught, some do not want to learn. That is why I mentioned the prerequiste of curiosity in my first sentence. At any rate, many creative people have discussed the topic. If you were interested it is not difficult to find. I was willing to discuss it but you don't seem interested. Good luck. There is plenty on the internet.
      • thumb
        Oct 30 2013: You are correct, of course, Michael, that teaching creativity, or fostering creativity, or removing obstacles to creativity has over the last several decades become quite an industry! There are thousand if not hundreds of thousands of systems in circulation, hundreds of thousands of blogs, books, consultants, training programs...

        I think you and Scott may, indeed, have different ideas in mind. I think you may be talking about strategies for encouraging divergent thinking or familiarizing students with an array of design tools, while Scott may be thinking you are saying you have a system for making every child a Leonardo, a Picasso, or a Shakespeare.

        I think he is thinking about what some people in the discipline call Big C Creativity and you are talking about something much more universally accessible.
        • thumb
          Oct 31 2013: I have misunderstood the point of the thread, my apologies for the 'interference'. I had no idea that serious people thought that they could 'create' another Newton or Russell or VanGogh. I personally see value in asking other creative people what it is that they do and comparing notes about how creativity works within our own (us) minds and perhaps discuss how to apply our own personal techniques or at least explain our techniques so that they might be useful to others. That was my interest at any rate; This is TED after all. Sorry for the intrusion.
      • thumb
        Oct 31 2013: I think the question in the thread is wide open! If you look back at what Oduetse asks, the inquiry is about supporting and facilitating creativity. I hear you and Scott both saying that that is both possible and desirable.

        In this, as you write, there is and has long been much sharing of ideas.

        I think Oduetse and others would be very interested in your specific ideas or approach, as in anyone else's who chooses to respond in the thread..

        I believe Scott is a professional musician and brings that perspective to TED.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.