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Thread: Does Education Kill Creativity?
October 13th, 2011 #1
Does Education Kill Creativity?
Well CA, waddya think?
EDIT: site isn't showing the video for some reason. hurm.
Last edited by Elwell; October 13th, 2011 at 09:13 AM. Reason: Fixing tags
Hide this ad by registering as a memberOctober 13th, 2011 #2
I unno, ask sir ken robinson
October 13th, 2011 #3Blog Thing: http://www.velda.me/
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October 13th, 2011 #4Registered User
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Education can kill creativity, but there's a world of difference between "can" and "does."
October 13th, 2011 #5
October 13th, 2011 #6
October 13th, 2011 #7
I wouldn't say it's education (in the sense of being taught by those with more experience) that dampens a person's creativity (or divergent thinking, as he says). I would say it has more to do with personal experience and a growing understanding of what society or the world's standards are for any given object, idea, thought process, etc etc.
Here is what I mean by this: I remember as a kid, when I played and used my imagination, just about any scenario was a good one. If I was a superhero and the bad guys were going to attack me with rakes, guns, and chocolate pudding pies, that seemed reasonable. (That's a little exaggerated but true nevertheless.) As I got older, I saw more movies, read more comic books, and learned more about how people in the world function. My ideas for what a bad guy could attack me with grew narrow. In this example, rakes would be unreasonable. Pudding pies would just be silly. People just don't do that kind of thing. Guns would be the only solution here.
So in the event of brainstorming, I feel like adults subconsciously rule things out that don't "fit" or that "seem silly." They might not intentionally rule them out, but it just doesn't occur to them. They've learned "how things work," and anything outside of those boundaries doesn't come so easily as it would to a child. The more ideas you have, even if they're absurd, the more divergent thoughts you'll come up with. So it makes sense that a child, (who hasn't learned that a bad guy would never fight a superhero with a pudding pie,) would have more divergent ideas than an adult who knows stuff like that just doesn't happen in our world.
In education (by way of teaching,) it's true that saying, "this will never work, don't try this, and stay away from that." could hinder divergent thinking. But teaching skills and saying, "This has been a tried and true method for doing such and such" is helpful because provides that foundation to build creative ideas. If you don't know how to sketch a head in 3-dimensions, then all the faces you can dream up in your imagination will never be realistically visualized on your paper. And on that note, I will post this link.
And then God said, "Let us make man in our likeness and our image. Let us make him ridiculously hard to draw so that poor artists everywhere will have to spend 10,000+ hours failing repeatedly before they can begin to capture the form and likeness onto a two-dimensional surface." And there was man. And it was good. And artists everywhere lost their minds.
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October 13th, 2011 #8
I don't think the point of the video was that education kills your creativity. The point of the video was that going to public school really isn't helping create creative people. But education, as in learning things to know more about the world around you, does not kill creativity.
"Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."
October 13th, 2011 #9
Here's the full video from the original TED talk, it's roughly twice the length. And here's another.
Also, when he says 'I haven't come across an argument where you would lower them', in fact there is one and it's quite widely used in Queensland Schools. When kids fail, or get lower scores then they need for their desired field of study, they then take longer to regain that academic ground to get into the course that they want and that's less time that they're actually in the workforce contributing to the local economy. So when you lower the standards, more kids pass for less effort and get into the Jobs around town more quickly. They achieve the same thing by introducing more and more practical subjects that are dedicated to very specific industries that give them certificates and sometimes diploma's which achieves roughly the same thing, but doesn't give you a GPA/percentage/OP score.
Last edited by Beeston; October 13th, 2011 at 06:09 AM.
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October 13th, 2011 #10
I can't see why it would.
Maybe I'm being dense but I fail to see the connection between education and imagination/creativity.
October 13th, 2011 #11Registered User
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I believe it can. It did for me. I don't think it does in general though. It might be better to say education without passion kills creativity.
October 13th, 2011 #12
October 13th, 2011 #13
October 13th, 2011 #14
This is our education system. These are the kinds of people that are profiting from it:
Education makes control freaks but not creative people.
Also, the teachings of Roland Young, who made the entire class, including myself, eat grass on our first day of art school. He was communicating to us how we are subservient to authority and took us outside of the classroom to this bed of grass. As we were talking, he told us “rip some grass off the ground.” We did. He then told us to “eat it.” No one budged. He then screamed “EAT IT” and all of us shoved the grass blades into our mouths. Roland taught us the necessity of concept……
When all you're allowed to say is 'yes sir', 'no sir', 'I don't know sir'....you're no longer teaching.
By the way, Hogarth was one of those crazy types too:
Robert Beverly Hale clearly taught, most others are jerk offs waiting for a pay check.
Last edited by NoSeRider; October 13th, 2011 at 05:53 PM.
October 13th, 2011 #15Registered User
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Creativity has to do with the unknown, which flies in the face of educational structure. You have to be multidimensional and be able to digest contradictory modes of thought, and that takes time.
October 13th, 2011 #16
I believe that without knowledge, we can't grow creatively. But there's a threshold; too much knowledge will lead to a lack of creativity. Few people seem to accept that which cannot be seen, unless it can be proven.
October 13th, 2011 #17
Creativity comes from being able to put together lots of different ideas in a large number of ways. The more you know the larger the pool of ideas you have to draw from. So education only kills creativity if you only do what you're told when you're told and resent being taught anything that doesn't look immediately useful. The moment you start talking to sympathetic teachers and looking interested, you start getting access to all kinds of interesting resources.
October 14th, 2011 #18
I do not think creative people are prevented from being creative by any form of education. Neither will non-creative people become more creative if only they are spared an education.
Off the top of my head I cannot think of a single great artist in history who did not receive (or put himself through) an education in basic, very much non-creative skills. Yes, even Michelangelo had to learn to draw, even Shakespeare had to learn to read and write, even Beethoven took piano lessons.
My sketchbook thread:
October 14th, 2011 #19
Excellent video! I agree with everything the speaker says.
As others have pointed out, I don't think the main conclusion is necessarily "education kills creativity". It's more about how we teach students, and about the myths we have about what makes someone "successful".
If you ask me, the current education system in America is shit. Just focusing on the topic of creativity, our system kills creativity because it doesn't look at each student's talents on an individual level. For instance, if you are really great at drawing, no one cares; you still only get, at best, one "art" class a semester, which means you need to spend about 95% of your time doing other shit (math, science, etc) instead of focusing on your drawing skills. Why? Standardization: everyone gets the same tasks. Result, less great artists (especially in a system that neglects the arts).
So to answer your question, Yes, general academic education does kill creativity, and a lot more, too.
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October 14th, 2011 #20Registered User
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I was thinking you were going to post the video by ken robinson from ted: 'do schools kill creativity' ?
To answer your questions, schools do not kill creativity, schools do not exist, only people exist. people kill creativity, by emphasising knowledge over creativity.
It is far more important to keep the creative WILLPOWER alive, than it is to learn any techniques, methods, facts, fucking... random bullshit they cramp into your head at these institutional prisons.
It is far more important to develop integrity and the ability to feel your feelings (if you have lost these), than to know ...this that and the other theory of blah.
creativity as einstein noted, is more important than knowledge.
children feel overwhelmed and underpowered to deal with life as it is presented to them, which is like a constant battering ram, on the confidence and consciousness of the child.
sad but true: 'all in all, you're just another brick in the wall' or as picasso put it 'everyone starts life as an original, nearly everyone ends it a copy'.
Nonetheless: No one but yourself kills your own creativity; if you did not allow it, it would not happen. Psychological warfare begins at a very early age. No one realizes what's going on at an intellectual level at that age, but some resist instinctually.
and as tolstoy noted: War is so ugly and unjust, that all who wage it have to stifle the voice of their own conscience; when you submit to the system of the world, a secret war is waged upon your mind, and you engage in it back and forth. Buy this, buy that, live like this, live like that... only when you identify it can you possibly fight back.
What happens in all human interaction is: you point out things which you think you see in the other person, because you have identified them within yourself.
The other person usually accepts or declines your advice, assessment or judgement straight away based on your social stature. for instance: an old person tells a younger one they are naiive; the old person has to have gone through this and that in their life to know what the word fool indicates. The young person does not know what to think until he has passed that stage. Until he does, he will not be able to refute it. What needs to happen: constant reassessment of truths and lies one has bought into.
Creativity is about courage, is about inner freedom, and willpower, what happens with adults (teachers) and students (children) is that they accept the world view the teacher is giving them, and the importance the teachers place on their work, because they are still learning.
They are told: creativity is of no real significance, or alternatively: creativity is important and lovely, but not here, or another great line: creativity is important, but only once you have learned this metric shit-ton of facts, can you ever, even possibly, dare to think about applying it to anything at all.
it is important to distinguish between real education (learning to read, write, draw, sculpt, sing and so on), and the social conditioning that takes place along parallel to it, which no one is immune to, and is very subtle some times. too subtle. but when you peel off layer after layer, you realize you have been trapped, chained, wrapped in a cocoon.
So: BREAK THROUGH THE MIND MADE MANACLES
You are as free as you want to be!
the funny thing is; we're talking about it as if it did not effect us to an extent, but of course, it has and does continue to in a massive way.
So keep the flame within alive, keep the wind at your back, burst open the door to the room you have been locked into and allowed yourself to be locked into, outrun the rabid dogs: ego & society, jump, shout, live, enjoy; be free. Dance, Play
October 14th, 2011 #21
The problem only comes when people cannot distinguish the fundamental difference between rules and principles.
From Gegarin's point of view
October 14th, 2011 #22Registered User
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October 18th, 2011 #23
I urge anyone to check him out.
my online portfolio.
October 25th, 2011 #24Registered User
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I think education serves as guidance until you are such a position as you can work outside of the standard templates. The 'ol "Once you know the rules you can break them" without education: we would be reinventing the wheel. Without creativity: we'd only have a shit load of wheels! Some say that everything is a remix mind, so education can serve as a sort of historical inspiration in which case - some would say that this is essentially vital in learning to be creative
October 26th, 2011 #25
For the education that is free, and as long as it is, try to make the best of it. Sure you won't be drawing or painting all the time, and instead might be reading an article in your textbook about history or science. But it will help you make better decisions as a matured person, make you smarter, and overall make you a better person. E.g., you look at today's newspaper and you know what is going on, and you can form an educated opinion on the issues at hand. Did you know boiling is a cooling process relative to the body of the liquid? Because there are only three heating processes: Conduction, convection, and radiation, and boiling is actually just an after-effect of a disruption in the thermo-equilibrium of a system done by the three heating processes. This is an example of how education helps us dispel our familiar but wrong associations.
Productive creativity is not just something that pops into your head like turning on a light bulb. There is a process involved and most experts can agree that genuine creativity (not the ones kids come up with) "is an accomplishment born of intensive study, long reflection, persistence and interest". That being said, highly creative thinking requires activity in both hemispheres of the brain, but with higher levels of activity on the right side. Non-creative thinking has most of its brain activity residing in the left hemisphere, and is overall less intense in activity. The more diverse your knowledge, the more it benefits creativity.
Education is also needed because sometimes people just don't know what is good for them, which thereof is due to their lack of education. It has to do with showing people the truth, then once they know the truth, they can do whatever the heck they want knowing the consequences and the rewards. Just look at some of the Youtube comments and see what lack of education leads to, which is a result of formulating uneducated opinions.
I remember reading a top rated comment, and it is of some guy trying to disproof global warming by using instantaneous temperature. He said along the lines of: Because the highest recorded temperature in the world is in the past, that means the world is cooling. Which is just utterly misconceived and wrong. For if he had been educated in statistics, he would have thought otherwise and so would have the people who thumbed him up. I can take a thermometer and hover it over a pit of lava and get an even higher measurement of instantaneous temperature. What global warming concerns is the changing global average temperature (done with standardized measures), not some instantaneous measurement with old and unreliable technology and standards of measuring in the past. And of course, I thumbed down his comment, but that doesn't do much relative to the amount of thumbs up he has.
Until you feel like certain classes are actually counter-productive or actually slows your learning, than you are better off on your own. Albeit you won't have a degree, which although doesn't guarantee you a job, but having a degree does help with your resumé.
Last edited by Vay; October 26th, 2011 at 05:24 AM.My Sketchbook
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