Sir Ken Robinson was one of the world’s most influential voices in education. Chair of the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education his report in 1999 - All our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education - led to a radical reappraisal of the value of creativity which we are only just beginning to realise. His talk Do schools kill creativity? is the most viewed in the history of TED talks.
The introduction to Creative Schools, One Minute to Midnight, sets the tone for a book which argues that we have only a limited time to transform schools and make them places where young people’s creativity can flourish. We are in, Robinson suggests, a creativity emergency in which time is running out if we are to harness the imagination of young people while they are at school.
Robinson calls for nothing less than a grass-roots revolution in schools. To get us started he suggests reframing the conventional curriculum not as subject disciplines but as eight competencies, each beginning with the letter C.
- Creativity – the ability to generate new ideas and apply them in practice
- Curiosity – the ability to ask questions and explore how the world works
- Criticism – the ability to analyse information and ideas and to form reasoned arguments and judgments
- Communication – the ability to express thoughts and feelings clearly and confidently in a range of media and forms
- Collaboration – the ability to work constructively with others
- Compassion – the ability to empathise with others and act accordingly
- Composure – the ability to connect with the inner life of feeling and develop a sense of personal harmony and balance
- Citizenship – the ability to engage constructively with society and to participate in the processes that sustain it.
What sort of curriculum does a school need to promote these eight competences he asks? What indeed.
Find out more about Creative Schools
Focus on one of the Robinson Creative Cs. How could you develop it in a subject you teach? Team up with others in your school and share your thinking.