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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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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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    Oct 23 2011: There seems to be a conflict of interests that is preventing creativity from getting its well deserved place in education. We want students to learn, but we also need to get evidence of their learning so they can get their degree. I agree with what was said by Cleo earlier: "by focusing on the quantifiable, we form an education system that ignores the qualities that make for success".

    I believe that a teacher's job is to provide the platform from which students can learn. A teacher should stimulate, create thoughtful and appropriate scaffolding for students and invite students to take part in the learning process. If there was no need to "quantify" students' learning, and to demonstrate that they are worthy of a degree, we could have created wonderful platforms and allow students to learn as much as they want from it. I believe this would have also made students less passive and take charge of their learning (that is, since they would have come to Uni to learn instead of to in order to earn a degree).

    One of the most wonderful things about creativity is that there is no limit to it - as there is no one correct answer. The easiest way to give grades - is to ask questions that have one answer (which creates a limit). Therefore, unless a big change in the educational-system's assessment methods will be made, I can't see creativity getting into the curriculum. Any ideas for how could we assess creativity on a large scale (for example a class of 200 students)?
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      Oct 23 2011: Ayelet,

      Good point about the conflict between being efficient in assessing competence and enabling learning. However, maybe efficiency is not the appropriate goal when it comes to assessing human beings, which are the incredibly complex and have the capacity to grow and change.

      How would I assess creativity on a large scale for 200 students? If I were assessing them to determine how best to encourage, enable and cultivate their creativity, then I would need to learn about them as individuals and thus efficient mass assessments would not be possible. Human beings are incredibly complex and creativity is incredibly general a term so assessing a human beings creativity does not lend itself to simple assessment tools or processes.

      Sorry to disappoint you with no simple efficient mass assessment for mass application.
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      Oct 23 2011: Ayelet,

      I hear both of you... Ayelet, you obviously have a keen eye, as you got into the heart of the matter right away.

      We want students to learn, but we have to measure; we want them to be active in this process, but we have to set limits... we want more quality but it is quantity that gets in the way!
      And that is for sure: there is no getting away from those numbers, increasing by the minute.

      As a teacher myself, I see a higher student-teacher ratio each year, even in the lowest grades. To me this is a crucial problem, as Peter mentions, one needs time to get to know the children, but I see classrooms being turned into conveyor belts of data...

      I recently had the chance to ask a leader in education about her opinion on that trend. Her answer was, do not complain, "Young woman, in my first years in education I was given a first grade class with more than 50 students". Hmmm, does the fact than it can be done prove that it is right? Or does the fact that the teacher survived prove that kids learned? Did they graduate from elementary or eventually fell through the cracks and went out to work the field with their parents? Is this quality education anyways???
      I was speechless...

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