Sir Ken Robinson on creativity

Sir Ken Robinson

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never do anything creative.”

That’s what Sir Ken Robinson thinks. Robinson is a professor and speaker in education and strongly believes that our future depends on our creativity.

Robinson points out that education systems were developed in the nineteenth century when most people were headed for a future in industrial work.

That is no longer the case. Manufacturing in the west has all but finished, and there is no such thing any more as a ‘job for life’. Graduates can’t get into the jobs they trained for, and I agree with Robinson when he says you need an MA now to qualify for the same work a BA certificate used to get you. And did your parents, like mine, encourage you into the sciences and maths so you could ‘get a good job’?

Nobody knows the future, but it seems as if the ability to adapt and change is key. If times ahead are uncertain, what better skills could there be than flexibility and openness to change?

So why aren’t we learning these skills in schools?

Why are Maths and Science prized above dance and drama? Robinson uses the anecdote of Jill Lane, the multi-millionaire choreographer. As a child, Jill could not keep still and her teachers referred her to a therapist. Near the end of the consultation, the therapist asked Jill’s mother if he could speak to her privately. As they left his office, the therapist switched on the radio. Outside the office, the therapist and Jill’s mother watched Jill. She started to dance. The therapist turned to her mother and told her that Jill didn’t need special measures, she needed to dance. Jill’s mother enrolee her in dance school, and Jill blossomed into one of the most successful dancers and choreographers the world.

How many children like Jill today are told they should sit still, and take some Ritolin?

Ken Robinson wrote the “All Our Futures” document that inspired the UK to bring more creativity into the education system. Download the .pdf of “All Our Futures” here. Through the Creative Partnerships scheme, artists are collaborating with schools to help teachers and staff learn to develop new creative skills. If it can bring about the change Ribinson hopes for, maybe the human race has a chance to survive its heinous errors.

I can’t praise this man’s work or speaking enough. I thought I might watch a minute or two of a clip of him speaking before bed and I watched the whole thing. I couldn’t take my eyes off it, and I had to come blog about it afterwards.

Watch it. You’ll be inspired to help each other get more creative. And if Robinson is right, our future depends on it.

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