Taking Risks – Managing the educational environment to help dreams grow.

In Ken Robinsons Ted talk “Do Schools Kill Creativity?,” Robinson discusses the likeliness that schools play an active role in ‘squandering’ the talents of young people. His focus is on how we lose creativity as we get older and it happens through a process of schooling.

There are many things a human needs to be creative. Creativity is a risk. It is taking a leap of faith in your Da Vinci made wings and hoping you will soar. However the likeliness is that you will fall down to earth the first 100 times you try. There is a great deal of research on what allows people to be creative and one of them is the feeling that you can make mistakes.

In our school systems mistakes are criticized, they are an opportunity to fix students or penalized them in the form of marks. If this were not the case, every student would get 100%. What is the point of taking a class if you are not going to absorb 100% of what you were meant to learn? What is the point of a 50%? It basically says 50% of your activities were mistakes, and this form judgment of you is supposed to motivate you to do better. To learn and to be a creative self there has to be a level of safety. The minute you put pressure on students to learn, it is harder for them to take risks and therefore chase creative options.

In dreaming, making mistakes is so crucial. Not every dream is going to manifest itself flawlessly. Therefore to teach a student to dream, we must do a few things as teachers. We must teach them how to feel safe in making mistakes and set up environments where mistakes are possible, and encouraged.

“When people say “I hate math” I doubt they actually hate numbers (arithmetic), patterns & relationships (algebra), or shapes (geometry). They hate lessons that don’t contain insight, enjoyment, and basic human empathy. It’s fine to be disinterested in Ancient Egyptian Civilization, but hate comes from getting lost on a tour and spending the night near a sarcophagus (Learning to learn site)”

We don’t want our students to get here either, where knowledge becomes something you hate.