Joshua Moncrieff

Web Designer / Web Developer
Plano, TX, United States

About Joshua

Areas of Expertise

Web Design / Web Development, psychology, Performing Arts, Digital Design and Communication, Constitutional Law, Circus Arts

An idea worth spreading

Better educational involvement and exploration through the integration of digital communication and guided open forum discussion.

Talk to me about

Anything really, but if you need prompting: Web design/development, technology, psychology, law, circus, magic, yo-yo, education, science-fiction, civil rights.

People don't know I'm good at

Juggling. No, really. Juggling.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

Noface
Joshua Moncrieff
Posted about 3 years ago
Schools do not kill creativity
I hope you've not understood my comment to mean that I don't see foundational knowledge as a precursor to higher forms of creativity. Quite the opposite. Yes, there is an underlying set of prerequisite concepts that one must learn through the tedium of memorization and practice (although that's probably an unkind way of putting it, so please forgive the injection of personal cynicism). My contention is with the all-too-common segregation of subjects both from each other and from their constituent parts. Take ballet for example; as you correctly stated, the 'prerequisite' is the muscle memory and kinetic language learnt at the barre. But unlike the teaching of many 'non-artistic' subjects, a dancer is encouraged to explore beyond the rules. Now I'm not saying that a good teacher doesn't inspire his/her students to do the same in other disciplines, but it seems that the trend is toward exclusivity of focus. A Modern Dance or Jazz Dance teacher expects a student to draw from ballet (as does a physics teacher expect their students to draw from mathematics), but the conversation stretches beyond that. A dance student isn't often left wondering whether they're allowed to break the rules of formal technique (so long as they're aware of why they're doing so), but I find this freedom somewhat lacking in traditional education. Statistics made sense AFTER calculus, but was taught before it. Organic Chemistry made sense AFTER Bio Chemistry, but again taught before it. I strongly feel that the underlying principles of most, if not all subjects can be better comprehended when paired with a more generous serving of things to come. It's all part of the greater system, so why share it? It's the ignition of interest and exploration that I believe sparks the motivation to understand, and that's really REALLY hard to do when the microscope is so often set to such an exclusively high level of magnification.
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Joshua Moncrieff
Posted about 3 years ago
Schools do not kill creativity
I've always had an interest in the hobbies and activities that those align themselves with the 'hard' sciences enjoy. I for one am a juggler, although I do not share some of my fellow jugglers' talents for numbers, but I've found that a disproportionate number of jugglers engage in science-heavy professions. I'm also a dancer, and I've enjoyed the similarities between juggling and dance for as long as I've been doing both. It's the similarity between the two activities that I find most interesting when considering the hierarchy of education. They're both forms of movement, and yet so many more 'scientists' seem to juggle than dance. Could this be the result of perceived acceptability that Sir Robinson touches on? It's great to see a living example that can attest to the beneficial crossover between dance and math such as yourself. Keep on movin'.
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Joshua Moncrieff
Posted about 3 years ago
Schools do not kill creativity
With all due respect, I can't help but think that you may have drawn an unintended conclusion from Sir Robinson's talk. I certainly agree that math and dance are two very different disciplines (although, as noted by other responses, there's certainly a crossover with the introduction of music), but my interpretation of the message behind this talk was that by categorizing strictly areas of knowledge and pursuit, and then ranking them based on a notion of perceived economic value, young students run the very real risk of being discouraged from discovering and exploring their talents and passions. I absolutely agree with your understanding of the relationship between knowledge and creativity, but failing to develop both through explorations/disciplines amenable to each can and does seem to result in the neglect of one or the other (and, as Sir Robinson points out, it's almost always the development of an educational institution's conception of 'knowledge' that comes out on top).