In an earlier post – The American Caste System – I stated that there are many things wrong with the current education system and that there were too many things to put into a single post.
This follow-up post highlights how our education system stifles creativity with standardized testing, and how the rules in place are completely out of line with reality.
Test taking is a great example. In school, you are told not to copy, not to speak with anyone else, and not to use any books, computers or the internet. But when was the last time that you were given a work task under those conditions in the real world?
I am willing to bet the answer would be never – not only that, but you would be told to find people who had done this before, and use all the resources available to find the answer. And you would be rewarded for collaborating in this fashion.
I would prefer that during tests students have access to all the resources available, but the tests were then made much harder – focusing on the students’ ability to digest information and make sense of it, come up with new ideas, and find solutions. Instead, we are feeding our kids lies and misinformation (usually in the form that there is only one right answer) and, in the process, crushing their creativity and their ability to think outside the box.
While researching this post, I came across the video below and realized that Sir Ken Robinson had, once again, done a better job of summarizing the situation than I could ever do.
I was particularly struck by his statement that, based on some tests, 98% of kindergarten kids rate in the genius level and that this declines over time. This is backed up by the observances of Peter Skillman with his “Marshmallow Challenge” which gives similar insights, and if that isn’t a sign that our education system is failing our kids then I don’t know what is.
So, in the spirit of using all the resources available, I will just leave you in the capable hands of Sir Ken Robinson. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
- Schools Kill Creativity – TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson (eeshan89.wordpress.com)