This is not a „how to” on creativity
Author: Ken Robinson
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd
„There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost” – Martha Graham
There are a lot of things that can be said about creativity and why being creative in our days is such an important thing regardless of age, but the thing that comes to my mind when I try to sum up Ken Robinson’s book in context to the way society works nowadays is a quote by Einstein:
The exact thing can be said about being creative and what measuring your intelligence via an IQ test or by how well you do in school says about your „creativity quota”.
Creativity and standardized testing, science, objectivity and basically almost all the educational system are incompatible because they try to mold people into something that they are not, disregarding natural talents and capabilities, based on a prediction of what the job market may need in the decades to come. While that is not a bad premise for the future (since we have the power to shape it) it isn’t exactly a fail proof one either since unplanned events may happen and the order of things could become unbalanced. If you don’t believe me just look at all the young people that majored in economic studies or business in college and the current job market.
„Education is not a linear process of preparation for the future: it is about cultivating the talents and sensibilities through which we can live our best lives in the present and create the future for ourselves.”
One of the most frequent mistakes we make when thinking about being creative is that we restrict it to the field of the arts – music, sculpture, painting, movies etc. When in reality creativity is just applied imagination like the light bulb, space rockets and the printing press among many.
The premise that we are not creative unless a system or a certain field of study tells us so is what Ken Robinson is trying to combat throughout his book by pointing out one at a time all the places where education or social events have killed our natural talents and creative senses.
So don’t be incredibly disappointed when you find out that the book is not a tutorial for how to be more creative but more a combined lesson in history and the evolution of the educational system throughout the centuries. It makes for quite an interesting reading because along with all the facts you get snippets of information on the side of the pages that encompass the main ideas so you don’t just get lost in names or years or ideas.
The ride through „Out of our minds” covers the revolution of the educational system, the trouble with education, the academic illusion, knowing your mind, being creative, feeling better, knowing that you are not alone in this process, being a creative leader and finally learning to be creative.
As a conclusion I gave it 4 out of 5 stars because it totally fooled me with the title and I would have liked a few more chapters on how to actually be more creative or reverse the process or damage that school did to the way we see things now – rational and limited to a number of possibilities.
The way that the information is layered into chapters that could stand on their own but also as a whole. The fact that it is presented in a way which makes it appealing.
The fact that „“Learning to be creative” makes only one of the chapters of the book and a mere 40 some pages from a medium sized book. I would have liked to read more on the subject.
To all the people that don’t feel all that creative – this book will change that. To those who feel have been robbed by the educational system and its black and white way of dealing with the diversity of intelligence – you’ll find someone to sympathize with you.