Chalk Talk: Why creativity is the key to learning - by the man who knows

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The Independent Online

Inside every jobsworth, there is likely to be a creative person struggling to get out. That is the the theme of a newly revamped book by the creativity guru Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative. He cites the example of the head of security at a major arts museum who was in high dudgeon when the management hired a bunch of suits from outside to tell them how they could improve upon what they were offering their visitors.

"My staff probably know more about the nature of the visitor experience than any other group in the building," he said. "Apparently, the leadership thinks the sole role of security is to slap people's hands if they touch the exhibits. It's insulting."

Having put the case for how you can find a desire to be creative in people you would not necessarily expect to have it, he goes on to outline how the education system must change to tap into it: "In the interests of the industrialised economies, we have subjected generations of people to narrow forms of education that have marginalised some of their most important talents and qualities.".

Sir Ken, who wrote a seminal work for the UK Government in the late Nineties, was knighted in 2003 for his services to the arts. He argues that we need to to break the cycle whereby some subjects on the curriculum – languages, maths, science and technology – are considered useful, and others – history, geography, art, music and drama – are not.

Schools, he says, should be seeking to teach everyone as an individual.