in summary ....
by way of introduction
- the themes running through the conference have been variety and range of human creativity and that that means we don't know how the future may play out
- everybody has an interest in education partly because its meant to take us into this future that we can’t grasp. and how do we educate people who are at school now who will retire in 60 or so years (especially given we can barely successfully predict what the world will look like in 5 years)
- all kids have tremendous talents and we squander them, pretty ruthlessly - so lets talk about education and creativity and how creativity is now as important in education as literacy and should be treated with the same status.
- kids will take a chance, if they don't know they will have a go because they are not frightened of being wrong. if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.
- yet that is how we run our companies, and national education systems like this - we stigmatize mistakes - and so the result is we're educating people out of their creative capacities.
- we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it, or rather we get educated out of it.
- every education system on earth has the same hierarchy of subjects - at the top is mathematics and languages, then the humanities, and the bottom are the arts. Within the arts normally art and music have a higher status than drama and dance. So nobody on the plant teaches dance every day to children the way we teach them mathematics.
- why not? Of course maths is important but so is dance. Children dance all the time if they’re allowed to, we all do. As children grow up we start to educate them progressively from the waist up. And then we focus on their heads.
- looking at education as an alien you'd conclude from the output that the whole purpose of public education is to produce university professors - our education systems are predicated on the idea of academic ability - because public systems of education came into being to meet the needs of industrialism.
- the hierarchy is rooted on two ideas: 1) that the most useful subjects for work are at the top (don’t do art, you’re not going to be an artist); 2) academic ability - because education is a protracted process of university entrance.
- the consequence of all this? - many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not, because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatized.
- and as more and more people get degrees suddenly now you need an MA or a PHD to get a job - academic inflation
what do we know about intelligence?
1) it’s diverse, we think visually, we think in sound, we think kinesthetically. We think in abstract terms, we think in movement.
2) it's dynamic, creativity, (the process of having original ideas that have value) often comes through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things
3) it’s distinct.
it comes to this ....
- our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology, one in which we start to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity.
- we have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we’re educating our children.
- we have to see our creative capacities for the richness they are, and see our children for the hope that they are.
- our task is to educate their whole being, so they can face the future we may not see but they will - and our job is to help them make something of it.