Monday, September 28, 2009

CHS and Creativity

Here is a link to one of the famous TED lectures that explains in no uncertain terms why creativity is important in today's education system. It is thought provoking, informative and delivered with humour - and reminds us that CHS provides a very special and valuable educational experience that fortunately is out of step with most educational trends today:

1 comment:

  1. Another post in support of the arts:

    Arthur who owns the Ottawa Folklore Centre wrote a great article in suport of the arts. Excerpts are below. As he says in the article, he uses "arts" and "music" interchangeably:

    Music Education. Two words that carry both a huge amount of baggage and at the same time, an offer of a doorway to a future of escape, joy, discovery and sharing. Over the past couple of decades, the inclusion of music education in our school curriculums has become spotty at best and non-existent at worst (actually, the thought of a teacher with no musical background offering music education in our schools is just about as scary as no music education in our schools!). Our current education system seems to be focusing on teaching our kids how to get a job in the new "global economy', without considering if this is necessarily how to become better humans, or better Canadians. By the time our kids get to the end of high school, 16 or 17 years of age, the choices are often based on whether you want to be employed at the end of university or not. Take a computer/math/science/business degree and you'll be set.
    So, why is education in the arts on the wane? Indeed, funding for the arts is constantly in jeopardy in all areas of our society and that jeopardy is based on sub-standard funding and leadership to begin with! Is the need for job fodder to fill the perceived requirements for the multi-national corporations driving us to ignore the humanistic areas of education? Are maths and sciences offered as the panacea for job worries in this world of international free trade and economic priorities? Are the multi- nationals offering funding for computers, labs etc. leading students to these fields of study? Is this a bad thing? Is this movement to 'education for employment' as opposed to 'education to make better choices' driven by our endless need for more 'stuff'? We are constantly bombarded with solicitations to buy more, cheaper, now, bigger, faster - the adjectives are as numerous as the colours of iPod nanos. In order to amass all this 'stuff', we have to be earning regular money. To earn regular money, we have to have 'good' jobs. And so we are confronted with an education system designed to fill those jobs to earn that money - well, you can see where this is going. Research has shown a lot of what we are doing in computer studies, especially at the lower grades, is not useful, particularly when it is done at the expense of more hands on activity such as the arts. Dennis F. Tupman, April 24, 2000
    Music education (interchangeable with 'Arts Education') offers a different direction for our growth. It is commonly accepted that music education helps develop critical areas of the brain and creates a more rounded person. If we consider the meaning of 'more rounded', we enter the areas of social responsibility, personal responsibility, quality of life and the choices that resonate from those. This will help us make critical decisions in life: who to vote for (not the guys who cut the arts!), how religion fits in your lives, how to deal with stress and difficulties, how to help yourselves and others. The Getty Foundation for the Arts affirms that our arts programs should balance the following principles in what is called disciplined-based arts education: perceiving, creating, comprehending, and judging. From: Recapturing Soul and Spirit: Towards a Vision For Arts Education in Canada By Dennis F. Tupman.
    This all leads to learning to be more musical in your lives. Singing, playing an instrument, joining a musical group, drumming, all of these are mindful undertakings that could not only fill your days with music but indeed, change your way of living. And age is not a consideration! C'mon - give it a try.