Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
~ Pablo Picasso

Not to bash our global education system, but…School Dunce

Let’s face it – today’s education system was born in the mid-1800s as a response to the Industrial Revolution. Its intent, at the time, was to provide a somewhat ‘skilled’ workforce for growing factories and to provide opportunities for employment for the flood of people moving from farms to cities. Can we just agree that that time (thus the purpose) has passed?

Framing the Problem – One “right” answer…

One of the “problems” with traditional formal education is the insistence on giving “the right answer.” This stifles creativity. Here’s why:

Solve this problem:  5 + 5 = ?

Easy! – the answer is “10” – right? OK – but what about that smart kid in the back row who says it’s “55”?…

Consequences of this approach:

  • You have to give the one “Right” answer. If you don’t, you’re punished.
  • Once you find the one “Right” answer – you stop searching for other possibilities!

Reframe the question:  ? + ? = 10

Consequences of this approach:

  • There are many “Right” answers. So everybody has a way to win!
  • This approach stimulates a continued search for alternatives!

Keep rewriting the problem

Rewriting it in a different way may help you think about it differently… Maybe you’re just asking the wrong question.

“Replace either/or thinking with plus thinking.”  ~ Craig Hickman

“Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”  ~ Sir Ken Robinson