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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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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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  • Oct 26 2011: The major problem with education is in standardized testing. Specifically in multiple choice testing. Instead of open-ended questions, questions are now confined to four or five answers -- which promotes the memorize and regurgitate style of learning.

    This becomes a huge problem in math. Instead of using tools (formulas, methods) to solve problems, the tools become the solution to problems.

    Example: everyone learns about factoring in algebra II. In most schools in the US, it is taught by the FOIL method. So one of the "problems" that the teacher might give is expand (x+1)(x+2), or factor x^2+2x+1. And that would be the extent of learning factoring. So now, most kids should know and understand the concept of factoring, right? But what happens when you give most kids this problem: How many positive two-digit integers are factors of 2^24-1? Because this question wasn't given in the familiar form based on x's, many kids cannot solve this problem. But the method is the same, factor this expression into (2^12+1)(2^12-1) and so on. From there, you will need to find the prime factorization of the expression, and play around with the numbers a little bit to find out how many two digit integers are factors. The problem certainly isn't easy, but most kinds won't even know how to approach the problem because it wasn't given to them in a form that was explicitly taught to them. And this is where education fails kids -- what happens when society encounters a situation that hasn't been seen before, will the new generation be able to problem solve their way out of it, or will they be stuck with it because they weren't taught a solution?

    http://www.maa.org/devlin/LockhartsLament.pdf
    There's a good article, albeit long(25 pages), about the issues in math right now.
    • Oct 26 2011: I agree that standardized tests are a major problem. I think another big problem with these tests is that they don't measure intelligence and academic skill nearly as well as they are supposed to, but instead they measure how good the tester does with this type of test. Grades also have this problem. And this is horrible because to a bright person with learning differences who doesn't do well with these tests (due to their structure), it can be very demoralizing.
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        Oct 26 2011: Alonso,

        Have you read Peter Han's comments on standardized tests/measurement?

        Look for it below, it will help you to understand how this tests come into play in the whole puzzle. As it is today, measurement is necessary. While individualized, informal assessment still takes place to some extent in classrooms, it is a very rare thing and certainly not what drives your GPA.
        That said, it is a good thing that you have noted that different learning styles need to be addressed differently, because your own journey is just beginning.

        While you can't do much to change the way your previous education was imparted, you do have choices for the future. And knowing your learning style will be instrumental in relationships, work, etc.

        Google open curriculum colleges, also pass or fail colleges. Some have adopted an open platform where you can navigate their whole menu of courses through the 4-5 years of college, and try different things outside of your major. The pass/fail system let's you go for things that you may not be too strong at, but have an interest in, without risking a blotch on your transcripts. My daughter tried Swahili that way, and loved it!

        Food for thought...
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      Oct 26 2011: Patrick, you bring very interesting issues. As a teacher I understand your frustration, weather you experience this inequality yourself or you see it in your class...
      Please, come to the next debate and help us to find ways to make it better. You'll see several other students all over the globe have the same complain.

      And BTW, thanks for the link!

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