Saturday, December 8, 2012
There are two main themes in the talk. First, we're all born with deep natural capacities for creativity and systems of mass education tend to suppress them. Second, it is increasingly urgent to cultivate these capacities -- for personal, economic and cultural reasons -- and to rethink the dominant approaches to education to make sure that we do.
The dominant systems of education are based on three principles -- or assumptions at least -- that are exactly opposite to how human lives are actually lived. Apart from that, they're fine. First, they promote standardization and a narrow view of intelligence when human talents are diverse and personal. Second, they promote compliance when cultural progress and achievement depend on the cultivation of imagination and creativity. Third, they are linear and rigid when the course of each human life, including yours, is organic and largely unpredictable. As the rate of change continues to accelerate, building new forms of education on these alternative principles is not a romantic whimsy: it's essential to personal fulfillment and to the sustainability of the world we are now creating.