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Tag: strenghts

How we are being educated out of creativity – 3 ways of finding your Element.

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

At the HSM conference we have attended and written about previously, we have been fascinated by Sir Ken Robinson’s ideas regarding education. We also had the pleasure to meet him personally and receive a nice dedication in his book, The Element. After his talk it was clear that if the education systems around the world followed his suggestions listed below entrepreneurship and business would foster around the world with new creative products and services.

Growing up most of us attended an education system that encouraged certain subjects over others. Usually the math’s, languages, humanities, and sciences were the most important subjects while the arts and sports took a secondary role and many other disciplines were not even considered, for example entrepreneurship. At the end of the day most of the emphasis actually went to the languages and maths. Before the argument goes on there are questions that must be asked; how many of you use the first derivative that you studied in calculus class to create your company? Or, why does the education system strive to offer a “one size fits all suit” to the variety of children and young adults that have such diverse intelligences and interests?

Sir Ken Robinson puts forth some compelling arguments about the need to reform the education system in order to better cater society and engage the students. One of the crucial arguments he makes is that all children are born with imagination and creativity, but as we grow older we get educated out of creativity as we are taught to blend in the crowd and fit in society.

The argument must not be misinterpreted that the education system is useless, or that not going to a school will increase your chances of being creative and come up with the next Google. In fact Google would have never been invented if the two founders hadn’t met each other in one of the best universities in the world (Google Milestones). In addition one must not forget the education system is only part of a child’s education, family and surroundings play a major role.

Sir Ken Robinson does a great job at explaining why and how many have trouble finding what they are good at and what they love doing. If a child grew up not being good at math or languages and always bringing home mediocre scores from school the individual is very likely to have low self-esteem. This will produce an adult with little self-confidence. Such an individual might feel unfit for life and settle for any job in the market. The Element, Sir Ken Robinson’s book, tries to explain how we all have talents that can be developed.

From the many examples that he mentions one that really stands out is Paul McCartney. Apparently he was horrible at school in music class and more than one choir rejected him. Another well known example is Richard Branson who had trouble at school because of his dyslexia and dropped out at age 15.

A few points that the author develops to find your element follow below:

Find your intelligence:
understand that we are all diversely intelligent and find what it is you are intelligent at. Don’t assume that not being great at math means that you are not great at creating a company or making a name for yourself in a new undiscovered field.

Imagination:
we all have it, we just need to challenge the obvious and extend our minds beyond what we have been taught. Unleash your minds from the chains of society!

I get it, I love it, I want it, where is it? Once you understand what is it that you get, something that you love doing then find it, find the opportunity and do it. We have one life and we cannot waste the majority of it doing something we don’t love.

It seems therefore reasonable that another way to express Sir Robinson’s ideas is that we need to be entrepreneurs of our own lives. We need to understand our passion and talent and do something about it. We also have to look at things from a different perspective in order to innovate and we need to take risks. Be an entrepreneur in your own life and go get it!

Have a look at Sir Ken Robinson’s famous talk at TED: