Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Creativity and learning - again

Interview: Ken Robinson | Education | The Guardian:
"Robinson believes the curriculum should be much more personalised. 'Learning happens in the minds and souls, not in the databases of multiple-choice tests.'"

Fantastic quote! It leads on from what I was saying yesterday. Creativity in learning and front-loaded structure go together like peas and icecream. The article goes on to say,
But on the whole, despite all the money, initiatives and trendsetting, the concept of creativity is still not filtering down into the classroom, says Teresa Cremin, professor of education at the Open University and an expert on creativity in primary schools.

She believes many teachers still think being creative means they have to be flamboyant and extrovert. While many schools are creative, many others pay lip service to the creativity agenda, she argues.

This might mean a day off the curriculum to do "the arts" after pupils have sat tests. It's a myth to call this creative learning, she says. Creativity must be embedded into everyday teaching and learning. "Many schools haven't got a handle on the language of creativity and are reticent about teaching more creatively," she says. "They are worried they won't achieve standards in other things."

She agrees with much of Robinson's argument. "If you have a school system which rewards conformity and avoids risk-taking, then youngsters will be unable to cope with the world unfolding before them."

Absolutely! So often, we pay lip-service to creativity. So often we pay lip-service to the benefits of reflective thinking / writing by imagining we can slot it into a structure of prescriptive learning outcomes and measurable results if only we can direct it and adminster it by using those nice spangly web 2.0 tools.

Oh, I don't know. I realise that scaffolding has its place in helping people to take on board new ideas / concepts / skills... but we risk losing that light, creative touch if we attempt to find the magic formula for learning.

Is it too scary to imagine there isn't one? Is it too scary to imagine that the hierarchy of academic achievement isn't as we thought? That real people need real skills, real voices, real thoughts? That they need some freedom to determine what and who they are? Life doesn't have one single learning outcome attached. One test to pass.

Am thinking of starting the Campaign for Real Education...

PS I think this was another thinly disguised rant about constructive alignment and learning outcomes. Whoopsie! :o)
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