Notes on Schooling and Creativity

Thoughts after watching this tremedous TED talk (which I may have posted here years ago already):

Thoughts: My friend Sam was saying the other night that he wasn’t sure he’d leave Madrid with a child (for smaller towns/cities in Spain), due to the wonderful education opportunites available here, that you just don’t find elsewhere.

Madrid has international, private, and bilingual schools of every grade and pursuasion. If we move to Asturias, will we have the same choices? Probably not, but for me it is still worthwhile taking my child out of a huge metropolis, and into the (or much much nearer to) the countryside, because of the very unique education that one gets by being ‘closer-to-nature’. It is not an academic education, but a kind of nurturing that I value very much, having grown up in a semi-rural area near Oxford.

Granted, I went to good private schools close to my village, an education I value very highly, but as this video points out, they certainly weren’t solely responsible for developing my creativity. Any creativity I have was fostered through my father teaching me about photography, and my mother’s love of the arts. Oh, and I think I had to get pretty good at creative-writing to get through my philosophy degree!

So my question is, in a world of “academic inflation” where “degrees aren’t worth anything” (I largely agree…), and with schools killing real creativity, does it matter if one no longer lives near a fine range of upmarket private education?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. My hope is that we are wise enough to spot our children’s creative instincts in time, and do everything we can to encourage them through any appropriate educational experience we can find – our own, institutional, or otherwise.


More thoughts on this talk and issue from the speaker himself

– Interesting “What’s your favourite TED talk” thread that brought me back to this (a day too late! Ken Robinson spoke in Madrid last night, very close to my home, and I missed it, balls!)