Day 108 (of 185) reflecting on @sirkenrobinson Creativity Challenge
My oldest daughter is in grade 11 and I just read via a tweet that eleven years ago, Sir Ken Robinson challenged education to think about creativity in ‘the’ Ted Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity
It was inspiring. (and still is)
It was challenging. (and continues to be daunting)
It……was uncomfortable. (for some!)
But…..what has changed in the decade+ since his observations started pushing some educators (but not all) to rethink the way we do school…..the way we set up the rules to “the game of school” <— of which my girl is a very good participant because she knows what to provide her teachers in order to achieve a high score…….but not necessarily showing her learning…..
Because the “checklist” is a mix:
Our future was “uncertain” eleven years ago….and has only gotten more interesting!
He claimed that we squander kids talents – especially in schools – especially around creativity – and I know my oldest girls experiences has ranged from creating an original score to the English Civil War (her initiative on a 20-mark task) to writing a 250 multiple choice question final exam. So have her own talents been challenged? Occasionally….but she is looking forward to attending a SHAD event this July (I hadn’t heard of it before she applied, but I’m intrigued in learning more about this!) to push herself and think more creatively with other collaborators!
Sir Ken reflects well on ‘benign advice’ that was mistaken in previous years from school “guides” around: don’t do that, you won’t find a job for ‘that’. And as a result, talented creative people were stigmatized and defeated because their talent wasn’t what was valued in schools (memorization and regurgitation of facts). It used to be that a degree = job….becoming less so –> it was less so 11 years ago, and I wonder about the educational paths of my own kids and they may be each end up being very different than the approach (K-12 –> post secondary) that has been ‘the way’ for the past four generations…..
The work in education in the past years has led to a range of successes…..and failures….. and overcoming obstacles <– but I wonder if the obstacles are what led to some achieve success AND are others unable to make it past the obstacle and we will never know ‘what may have been’…..
I know I’ve been doing my part of disruption to help out with the ecology of humanity – and the richness of human capacity:
I’ve been working with students on #geniushour (passion projects, inquiry lessons – call it what you will) to empower students to explore areas of personal interest –> both as a way for students to explore topics that they’ve always wanted to AND to eliminate topics that may seem interesting….but aren’t sustainable.
I’ve helped my learning communities explore using eportfolios instead of report cards – because they help show personalized learning journeys so much more completely than scores on tasks and marks on a template.
because ongoing descriptive feedback loops help build on student strengths and focus attention on their talents…..not making sure that they accomplish the same tasks as each other because it makes data easier to computate.
I have been working on helping creating personalized approaches to coding (a recent ‘push’ by BC Education) to help engage the brain in thinking in different ways – coding centres that are expandable and scaleable based on achievement and interest, not ‘date of manufacture’.
Some of my work has ben nicely ‘confirmed’ by the thinking and actions of educations like (and inspired by) Sir Ken. Seeing him live in Dawson Creek a decade ago remains a highlight moment for live performances. I know many of my colleagues sitting in the audience were likewise influenced and encouraged to do ……. different(iated) education.
But why after 11 years, is the grade 12 year my daughter is going to experience not so different from the one I did? Some of the material has changed (at least I hope we don’t teach the tongue having ‘zones of taste’ – although a quick google images search still confirms many images indicating that there are areas specialized to taste bitter, sour, salty and sweet….incorrectly….oops)
So….a few years ago I wished that all my kids might graduate without a traditional transcript and instead have efolios (my oldest will likely have a traditional transcript, but many of the schools she is applying to want to see efolios as well/instead). The system is moving….but it’s moving slower than what many of us would like, because the change is uncomfortable……even when it is what we should be doing.