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HTI | Is Education killing Creativity? Sir Ken Robinson - Part 2

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Published on Jun 21, 2011

HTI's 25th anniversary celebrations got off to a thought-provoking start when international creativity guru and HTI patron Sir Ken Robinson gave a rousing polemic on how the education system is stifling young people's creative impulses and potential.

Addressing a packed audience of 150 education leaders at City Hall in London, Sir Ken criticised the government for leading schools into the 21st century via a detour to the 19th century. He said that the conformity, standardisation and fear of making mistakes promoted by the current education system were no preparation for young people growing up in revolutionary times.

Creativity skills should be at the heart of the curriculum and developed across every subject, he told his audience. He was disappointed that the new English Baccalaureate seemed to sideline the arts by default, instead focusing on a narrow band of academic subjects -- the ones the policymakers did when they were at school.

Although passionate about the arts, a natural channel for creativity, Sir Ken stressed that all of us have the capacity to be creative and that every subject benefits from creative input. Creativity is not just the preserve of 'special people' and this misconception is partly to blame for so many people failing to discover their talents.

"When people get to discover things they enjoy and love to do, they tend to get better at everything because their confidence rises with it," he said.

Instead, we seem to be obsessed with university as the pinnacle of educational success, when many young people could achieve success by following their talents and going down alternative routes. Such a narrow view leads to a catastrophic waste of talent.

Sir Ken did not blame schools for these inadequacies, citing many brilliant schools and visionary heads who empower teachers in the classroom.

Watch this 2-part video to hear what Sir Ken Robinson discussed at HTI's 'Is Education killing Creativity?' event.

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