This past weekend, I had the immense pleasure of hearing Sir Ken Robinson speak at the University of Cincinnati, where my husband teaches. By the time the lecture was over, I was giggly and groupie-esque. Luckily, my husband indulged me!
Sir Ken was an engaging, funny (he interviewed Paul McCartney for his new book!!!!) and truly galvanizing speaker. He feels (as many people feel) that standardized testing is actively stamping out the creativity in our children, a situation that hampers the development of skills in innovation and invention.
What would our country be without the creative genius of the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Bill Gates? What about the loss of such minds as Edgar Allen Poe, Ernest Hemingway, or F. Scott Fitzgerald? Gershwin or Rogers and Hammerstein? What about Zac Posen, Calvin Klein or Vera Wang? Think of the thick blanket of creative genius our country has wrapped itself in for centuries and now imagine what would happen if those great minds stopped coming because we told them to get their heads out of the clouds?
Sir Ken is certainly more eloquent than I on this topic, and has years of scientific research and study to back up his theories. In 2006, he gave an incredible speech at the TED Awards, and be returned this year with another call to creative action. Here's the link to his TED profile and the two videos of his speech. I highly recommend taking a look!