Teaching divergent thinking

Given the emphasis of the IdeaFestival on "innovation that matters" and the appearance of Richard DeMillo and Tony Wagner, who will talk separately about 21st century education later this month, I thought I'd post this RSA Animate video of Sir Ken Robinson discussing creative thinking.

In short, we need more of it - particularly when it comes to the kind of education we give our children.

Beginning with the statement that we were kept in school with the story that if "we worked hard and did well, we'd be successful," he says that today's students "don't believe that." They don't believe that because the current system of education was designed and structured for the 19th and early 20th centuries, an age that emphasized deductive reasoning, a uniform education and the single right answer, rather than, as is increasingly important now, an ability to think widely as well as deeply about what they've been taught. Today's children live in the most highly stimulated age in history. Information is everywhere. The point is not to "lower standards" - seriously, who argues for that? - but, because we're all born with it, to maintain a capacity for divergent thinking, which is essential to creativity and "outcomes with value" - aesthetically and economically.

I won't recap the whole video. Just give it a watch - at only eleven minutes it's well worth your time.