Out of Our Minds: The Power of Being Creative by Sir Ken Robinson

4. The Academic Illusion

  • Here Ken gives us a quick dash through history with a focus on schools and learning. He reminds us of how a fissure opened up between the sciences that rely on rational thinking and empirical truth and the arts that are associated with feelings, imagination, and self-expression. This has had a key impact on education as when the academic chips are down, the arts are seen as dispensable. Producing works of art doesn’t often count as intellectual work yet discovering new science does. While intelligence is measured by IQ tests and other tests, Ken feels that true intelligence is much richer and not totally quantifiable.

5. Knowing Your Mind

  • During the last 30 years science has imaged the brain and determined what goes on where. The key to this chapter is that intelligence is highly diverse, dynamic, and distinct. While there is no agreed definition of intelligence, We do know that it is multifaceted, rich, complex, and highly diverse. Each side of the brain does its own thing, but both sides and many locations are involved in creative efforts. As for the distinct part, each of us is a unique moment in time, a product of our genetic inheritance and our experiences.
  • Unfortunately, schools tend to deliver instruction as if we are all the same. This ignores a good deal of what students might otherwise be good at. We all have profound natural capacities, but we all have them differently. This is why creativity should be center stage in school, work, and life.

6. Being Creative

  • If intelligence is diverse, dynamic, and distinct, so is the creative process, and we all have creative capacities. The most significant achievement of the creative mind is the power of symbolic thought. Language is the most obvious example. Systematic symbols are things like numbers and words that need to be strung together to obtain meaning. Schematic symbols like visual images, dances, and musical compositions only make sense when viewed as a whole.
  • Creativity is a process of successive approximations and being creative involves doing something based on your imagination. It involves having original ideas that have value. The first part is generative where you create something. The second part is evaluative where you make judgments about your creations. It usually involves some constraints. It also involves trial and error where you find out what doesn’t work. Generative thinking takes time to flower. Creative outcomes can be original for the person involved, for a particular community, or for humanity as a whole. Prior to a creation, one needs to develop technical facility with something and it generally requires a genuine love for something.

7. Feeling Better

  • Creative work takes two things, thinking and feeling. Those who rely more on thinking may distrust their feelings and visa versa. One type of intelligence involves knowing one’s self and knowing others. Ken argues that emotional intelligence is just as important as other kinds. Without soft skills, students are less likely to find success after school. With a focus on academic skills, schools can take some responsibility for emotional disturbances. This argues for the fact that education should be more child-centered. Ken covers the history of child-centered education here.
  • Becoming mature is not about suppressing feelings but learning how to control them. In all fields, the relationships of thinking and feeling are at the heart of the creative process. While the sciences are thought to be about objectivity and the arts about emotions, both have objective and subjective elements. Creativity is not strictly logical. Creativity requires control of materials and ideas and great discipline in honing exact forms of expression. Meaning and interpretation are at the heart of all creative work. Unfortunately, our education systems do too little to address students’ feelings.
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter Share this page via Google Plus
DrDougGreen.com     If you like the summary, buy the book
Pages: 1 2 3

Leave a Reply