Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative
When it comes to the notion of creativity, most people (especially adults) assume that they are not capable in this important area of human capacity. And yet our creativity is one of the main features of our cognition that separates us from all other species on the planet. Sir Ken Robinson, one of the most sought after consultants and speakers on education reform and creativity (he has given two record breaking TED talks on these subjects), argues that we all have the capacity to be creative and it just needs to be supported by schools, businesses, and society. This book, on ways to increase creativity among students in schools, and workers in business organizations is already a classic in the field and will likely continue to be the goto book for educational administrators, corporate executives, parents, and students who want to understand creativity as well as the current trends in our society that tend to reduce this critical component to our continued cultural and technological evolution. Sir Robinson makes a compelling case that creativity is more important than ever with the rise of technology and its rapidly accelerating pace of development.
There are numerous examples of educators and schools that are breaking the mould of test driven education and encouraging students and teachers alike to be more creative in their approach to learning, teaching, and assessment. This book will teach most readers the value of revisiting our educational methods with an eye toward turning out graduates who know they can be creative. The author makes a compelling case for the value that increasing creativity across all members of society has for the future of the whole society. He covers some of the basic scientific literature on creativity and alternative educational paradigms and he makes it clear that we must view the current status quo that puts math and science above the arts with skepticism. He explains cogently how creativity is required for all fields not just the arts and takes the current educational systems to task for their tendency to associate the arts with creativity and the sciences with logic. He shows, by way of individual example, that all disciplines require both logic and creativity.
Rather than spend ink on individual techniques for increasing creativity, the author introduces ways that our education system can be changed to increase creativity in students and maintain that inherent in children. He also showcases corporate organizations that have initiated efforts to encourage creative expression in employees. Sir Robinson provides plenty of real world examples in people and organizations that exhibit remarkable levels of creativity and he identifies how they do this at a high level. It is possible to learn to be creative again and to increase the chances that our children have of keeping their childlike creativity and wonder alive throughout their lives.
This book changed my views on education and gave me the ability to look at what I see in my local schools with a more critical eye. I find that I have greater appreciation for some features and have begun to question other aspects that I did not previously give more than a passing thought.