Friday, 22 February 2008

"Educating people out of their creativity"

I was recently sent this link to a video of a talk by Sir Ken Robinson in 2006 on creativity and education. I found it very thought provoking. For my longer spiel on it, see my other blog (my first post, I'm so excited!). Anyway, I'd like to hear your thoughts.


Monica said...

Wow, no comments? Come on people!! This was pretty thought provoking. I'd also like to add that if I can find time to post something on here, ANYBODY can find time to post. I'm still waiting...

Michaela Stephens said...

All I know is my talents are meant to be used to serve my fellow men and so I need to develop them as best I can.

Another thing I know is that being children of God means that we have the potential to gain all talents.

In this life, we have to make decisions and we are forced to choose between many many possibilities so that we can demonstrate what is most important to us. Many would say that a woman should be able to work in exploring her talents along with every thing else she has to do, and there are mothers that have made extraordinary efforts to follow their creative bent as well as raise a good family. (Minerva Teichert comes to mind...) But for those who can't handle that much and need a simpler way, there is always the consolation that if we put the Lord first and our families, ultimately all the rest will be added to us, whether it is in this life or in the next.

With our divine potential, with that hope that someday we can be like God, do you really think that creativity can be something that is killed forever? Maybe it goes into hibernation for a while, but I think it can be coaxed out again. Maybe that's another thing Christ intended for us when He told us to become as a little child.

Monica said...

I absolutely agree with you (Michaela) that we have the potential to gain those talents we don't have the opportunity to cultivate here on this Earth, but I also wonder how many people, because of what they learn in our society, choose to stifle creativity when those very talents could be something Heavenly Father blessed them with to bless others in this life. I agree that all of our talents are meant to be used to serve and bless others. For instance, you have a talent for scripture study and explanation and you are using it to bless lives. Some people will never have that kind of talent in this life.

I think it is really important to remember that God blesses us with some talents to use here and now, and if we don't use them here and now, that specific opportunity is lost to us forever, just like raising our kids - it only happens once. I feel quite strongly that each of us has a responsibility to seek from our Father in Heaven to know the talents with which He has blessed us and which he intends for us to use to bless the lives of others during our sojourn on this earth. When we have received that knowledge from Him, then we should develop those things that we can magnify what He has blessed us with that He might be able to work in the lives of those around us. And these things might be in very different areas - some might have talents for medicine, some might sing, some might be engineers, some might be scriptorians, some might be teachers, some might have a listening ear that can support the weary and understand a friend.

There is also the fact that the most sacred things we do are not represented through the scientific or the other fields that society lauds as practical. Art is worth cultivating in those who have a talent for it, but society does not support those endeavors in terms of being able to make a living. I wonder if some people who are blessed with talents God intended them to use here never fully realize the extent of their talent because they buy into society's idea of what is important and useful. I love my sister's response to my other blog post on this subject:

"The root of this is not specific to education--it is society in general. We give up arts and creativity because they really aren't practical. That isn't some lie people are making up. It is true. They aren't. My starting salary as an education director at a children's theatre might be $38,000. No wonder a professorship looks promising where I might hope for a living wage of $50,000-$60,000. Still, by American standards, a meager sum for my family of seven. That six figure income of our pediatrician looks rather enticing, doesn't it? But while medical doctors work in the confines of God's physical world to heal and save physical bodies , artists work with God's spiritual world to heal and save souls. We reflect society in a way no MD, DO, JD, or MBA could begin to understand. (Oops, I think my prejudices are showing. Let me tuck that back in.)

"I might add that our most sacred rites, rituals and experiences are always based in art and representation, not in science, or math, or the practicalities of accountancy."

I know that if I followed my societal education about what was useful and practical, rather than personal revelation, I would be in a very different spot from where I am today.

On another note, it is true that we have the consolation that what we can't do here will be added upon us later as we do the things that, eternally, are of the most importance. We can't do everything in our lives and we can't develop every talent - it's just not possible. Making choices is why we are here in the first place, and choices do have to be made. As my sister stated: "It is dreamy and wonderful to fight the artists' cause in theory, but variables and unpredictabilities like five children often create situations where practicality and basic survival trumps most options."