When I was browsing YouTube for Ted Talks, I came across several that sounded/looked appealing to me. Ken Robinson has several education related videos out there, I have watched a few and I was very impressed with his work. He has a great sense of humor and is a great presenter. For my Ted Talk this week, I chose his video; How To Escape Education’s Death Valley. Yes, death valley and education really shouldn’t be put in the same sentence.
Before I even watched this video, my wheels were turning. I was juggling the positives and negatives of school systems. In a way, with the negatives, I kind of built a death valley. Ken talks about education in Finland. Now let me tell ya- I really wish the US had that kind of education system! In Finland, they don’t obsess over the maths, and sciences, or literature. It is a broad range of subjects; humanities, physical education, and arts. There is also NO standardized testing. There is some testing but nothing extreme like there is here in the US. When educators from the US questioned the dropout rate in Finland, educators from Finland simply stated, “Well, there is no dropout rate.” When a student seems to be struggling they find them help immediately and do all they can to make that student the best they can be.
Each person has their own levels of creativity- that’s what makes us all different and unique. When we look into schools, there are so many classrooms that use handouts, pre-made crafts. The LAZY way out. If we are giving children these thing that are already prepared, what good is that doing them? Not a bit. This not only stumps creativity, but develops an attitude in children that they can have everything handed to them on a silver platter.
Ken mentions several times how important allowing children to be creative is. I honestly don’t think that creativity in the classroom can be stressed enough. With prepared projects and materials, the children aren’t allowed to express themselves. Who’s to say that the only time little Suzy is allowed to express herself and be silly is at school? Home life has another impact on creativity. If children are allowed to be creative in the classroom, they are shown that it’s OKAY to be themselves. Creating a fun and safe learning environment creates a positive image in a child’s mind, telling them that school IS fun!