Watching my daughters learn lists of words and paragraphs of text parrot fashion for tests leaves me asking ‘What’s the point?’
Our education system today is failing us and our children because our industrial age models of learning don’t prepare us for our rapidly changing world. Nor do they teach us the things we need to be extraordinarily happy, free, healthy, and fulfilled.
We are living in a very different world today than we were just a decade ago. We’re at the beginning of a new era.
We are no longer in the Industrial Age; we are in a new economy that’s digital, global, more meaningful and entrepreneurial. Everything has changed and so must we. We need to think differently.
We need to think small and specialised now rather than big and mass produced.
Children must be taught to do what they love to do, not what they ‘should’ do.
Today we live in a world unlimited by geography. We are connected to each other by the swipe of a finger.
We need to become more focused, more creative, more adaptable.
Yet schools are cutting back on creativity and as I look from my house window across the school field to the dismal brown building I send my children to, to be locked in all day, I often ask myself, “Am I doing the right thing?”
Creativity is important in everyday life because it makes life infinitely interesting and fulfilling.
Creativity is a way of living life that embraces originality and makes unique connections between seemingly disparate ideas. We often think about creativity as making something, but in fact the root meaning of the word is 'to grow'.
Human beings are creative by nature. We were each born with an innate ability to express ourselves through art, music, language, dance and other forms of creativity and communication. This innovative spirit is sometimes pushed down by schools and institutions, and by beliefs that tell us that true artists are rare. We shouldn’t listen to those voices. We were all born with the potential to be creative.
Creativity is something that many look beyond and don't even think of as something of importance in the world of business, or in the nature of the success you build for yourself. Creativity is one of the greatest qualities any of us can be blessed with, yet many never allow their true creativity to be expressed.
Our school system/society today doesn't seem to approve of creativity, nor does it ever seem to encourage it. Yet creativity encourages people to think for themselves and create their own paths in life. Think back from the point you were a child to the point you are an adult. Your path would often have been marked out for you: society dictating what to do and that you have to do it. This might have worked well when most employment after leaving school was in a factory.
School actually limits our creativity more than anything else because it is so egregious and is solely focused on how well you can cram and memorise things you will forget straight after the test, which is why most people don’t enjoy it.
“Learning happens in the minds and souls, not in the databases of multiple-choice tests.” Ken Robinson.
It is as if society does this to us is because it doesn't want us to think for ourselves. It basically wants us to be robots and live the average, pedestrian life that entails nothing more and nothing less than what our basic needs are.
Because our creativity is stripped by the time we are ready to enter into the real world, many decide to take the easy way out and get that job that doesn't require much effort, forever living life the way society wants us to rather than the way we ourselves want to.
This is the exact reason why so many become miserable before are so lost in life and have no idea what route to take when it comes time to make a decision.
The reason they have no idea what they want to do is that they hate everything they do - all because society is telling them what to do rather than allowing them to create their own ideas and make their own decisions.
"Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up." Pablo Picasso.
In today's business world the only way to separate yourself from the rest is not with a fancy resume and list of qualifications. It is how well you can think for yourself and actually use the creativity that separates you from everyone else.
When most people out there see a problem, they just complain about it instead of trying to resolve it because they never had to use their creativity to problem shoot before.
"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." Joseph Chilton Pearce.
We live in a world that is constantly becoming innovated with new concepts, ideas and technology. Having the creativity to help innovate something that has never been created before - anything from a product to a piece of art - is all based on where your mind wants to take you. But so many never even allow their mind to journey out of their little bubble, but instead get stuck in that bubble for the rest of their lives.
People in today's world need to realise that individuals in leadership positions must be creative and become creative problem solvers as these are skills of the future. You need to unleash your creativity and understand how important it truly is to have it flourish throughout your life and career.
A trained mind is better than a conditioned mind.
“In this way, you must understand how laughable it is to say, “Tell me what to do”. What advice could I possibly give? No, a far better request is, “Train my mind to adapt to any circumstance”…In this way, if circumstances take you off-script…you won’t be desperate for a new prompting.” Epictetus.
Schools try to teach children what to do in each given situation. Wouldn’t life be easy if we were always told what to do at the right time? (boring too). We should prepare for this, study for that, save for something in the future that might never happen.
Stoics do not need to have the answer for every question or a plan for everything they do. So why do they not worry? It is because they have the confidence to adapt and change with their circumstances. Instead of waiting to be told what to do, they cultivate skills like creativity, independence, problem-solving, self-confidence and consciousness. They are resilient instead of rigid.
It’s better to learn than be given and better to be flexible than work to a script.
The majority of people meet with failure because their original plan (the way they have been shown to do something) has failed and they don’t have any backup plans or ideas on how to get around the blockage and move forward.
“First comes thought; then organisation of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality, The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” Napoleon Hill.
Over the past decade, we have seen factories and mines close, high streets become barren landscapes and big businesses slowly give way to smaller more specialised enterprises. Is it time that our current outdated education (and healthcare) systems went too?