There seems to be a bit of a resurgence of late in the tired, hackneyed, Sir Ken Robinson mantra ‘schools kill creativity’. While it is definitely jaded, a bit of spit and polish brings it up like new. While I have no problem with people having this view, I expect them to be honest and admit that they must also have a poor opinion of teachers to think that schools really do kill creativity.
No I know that people, including Sir Ken, will say that it’s not the teachers it’s the school system that has students slumped stupefied at their desks or snoring in their lime green bean bags. In fact many doomsayers will proclaim they have great admiration for teachers. But if ‘schools’ murder creativity, then teachers, who are actually doing the teaching, where the rubber meets the road if you will, must be complicit in this, or at the very least helpless to inspire student creativity.
You can’t have it both ways. Teachers are great inspirational professionals, but schools are suffocating the lifeblood out of kids, just doesn’t wash. Funnily enough the educators that blog and tweet the Robinson mantra, rarely say that their own classrooms are creative wastelands. If fact you are most likely to hear the schools kill creativity war cry during edchats about creativity and innovation, where everybody is telling each other that their classrooms are positively awash with creative juices.
So I’m hopeful that we can move on from a profession that stands and cheers when charismatic entertainers proclaim that our places of work are hollowed out shells of pathetic, mind numbing, robotic conformity. I’ve been a public school teacher for a long time, and I never cease to be amazed at the creativity and innovation going on in our classrooms. If you are an educator and you don’t agree, it might be time for you to try your luck on the celebrity speaking circuit. Remember, the harder you sink the boot into schools, the more popular you will be.