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Karina Eisner

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What place does creativity have in education?

Almost every education related TED video available states or implies that creative thinking is at the center of the learning process and at the root of every breakthrough.
What place do we give creative thinking, free exploration, uncharted discovery in our current educational models?
Are the prevalent public education systems becoming a means to program the masses rather than a way to facilitate discovery, growth and self realization? Are students truly turned into useful citizens, or rather adults trained to respond to induced stimulus in predetermined ways, much like rats in the lab?
Are we afraid of where original thinking can bring us? Are we afraid of change? Are we afraid of losing control? How far are we ready to go to keep it? And do we really think creativity can be killed?

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This debate is closed, now what?

….......................................YOU ARE INVITED......................................

WHAT? Stage 2 of this debate, do it!
HOW? Connecting, cooperating, organizing information, sharing our skills, giving ideas, encouraging, writing or blogging, creating a web page, reaching out to our own communities.
WHERE? New TED debate, Creativity in Action
WHEN? Now.

We can overcome geographical, language, age and political barriers. We can make a difference. Let's take the next step. Are you in?

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Closing Statement from Karina Eisner

This debate is closed, now what?

….......................................YOU ARE INVITED......................................

WHAT? Stage 2 of this debate, join us!
HOW? Connecting, cooperating, organizing information, sharing our skills,
giving ideas, encouraging, blogging, creating a web page, reaching
out to our own communities.
WHERE? New TED debate, here, Creativity in Action
WHEN? Now.

We can overcome geographical, language, age and political barriers. We can make a difference. Let's take the next step. Are you in?

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    Sep 28 2011: I'm suggesting like many before that we must educate our children for THEIR future, not ours, as theirs will be substantially different. Generally our models of teaching look backwards, not forward. Thus the disconnect.

    Regarding the target, it must incorporate environmental health, economic vitality and social equality or the triple bottom line. Unfortunately as David Orr so eloquently points out in his seminal work, Earth in Mind, that when education isn't fundamentally grounded in all three the results often undermine future generations as our present situation testifies. Until we understand holistic life cycle costs and unintended consequences of our past choices and the trends they manifest we have little opportunity for conscious evolution.

    I believe there is no time to perpetuate the old myths. They must be challenged so that we can learn all the lessons of the past with the hope of synthesis.
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      Sep 28 2011: Hmmm... let's see: while I believe we need to do a new "box" instead of thinking out-of-the-box, I don't think everything that brought us here is trash.
      In fact some schools out there (independent, private) strive to bring back some old principles that worked very well in the past, such as classical studies from elementary school -the way the greeks did it: organically, outdoors, inquiry method of discovery as oppossed to memory and traditional instruction. I mean, they go back thousands of years, not decades.
      Others attempt to go back to nature and hands on exploration, focusing on crafts and self guided science. I believe they are all way ahead of the pack.
      Now, are they the answer? Are they preaparing our kiddos for the jobs they will have to choose in 15 years? I don't think so, we are moving too fast, more is needed. Actually, is not quantity, is just that different content is needed.
      Craig, I don't know much about the approach you talk about, but I do know something: history has showed us that the worse thing that can happen to a society is amnesia. We need to learn from mistakes while being aware and acknowledge where we came from. Do not do away with everything that is in the past, people need to know in order to avoid falling in the same trap.
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        Sep 28 2011: Creativity, in its basic understanding, is comparable to the birth of a newborn. True creation is the emergence of something entirely new in the physical and material dimension that we perceive. It can not be solely the result of logical reasoning. Creativity can take place only upon a penetrating vision of something that was previously unknown. It requires an intuitive ability that enables a leap in the field of mystery before integrating it into the domain of the known.
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          Sep 28 2011: Creativity implies risk! Deep thoughts here :-)
          "Creativity requires an intuitive ability that enables a leap in the field of mystery before integrating it into the domain of the known."
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        Sep 29 2011: Karina,

        I certainly agree we need to learn from the past, but do we? When Forest Science, for example, refuses to understand the cause and effects of past management, how do we learn from the past? When we give lip service to holistic systems thinking or life cycle cost analysis yet allow externalities and unintended consequences to continue unaccounted for, how do we learn from the past? When people like me without an advanced degree gets marginalized and not invited to the discussion (generally, not here) in large part because our society doesn't support or respect comprehensive thinking and experience instead it rewards specialists how do we evolve?

        Our education system is perpetuating many myths and half truths without much understanding of where it is leading. Take automation for example largely embraced as increased productivity and progress. Yet who is paying attention to the structural unemployment that follows in its wake? How long will the social order remain civil, in the face of the obvious trends on so many fronts?

        Where is the synthesis and creative thinking that understanding all these constraints and interdependent consequences that lead to environmental health, economic vitality and social equality and build upon them? I keep looking but not finding much. Have you found this level of integration? I'd be very interested in knowing more.

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