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Creative Schools

Revolutionizing Education from the Ground Up

By Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica
13-minute read
Audio available
Creative Schools: Revolutionizing Education from the Ground Up by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica

Creative Schools (2015) is a guide to transforming education. These blinks break down every aspect of education from its history to the essential needs of students. They also illustrate the ways in which all people can help kids get the schooling they need to succeed in a rapidly transforming world.

  • Teachers, students and parents
  • Anyone interested in education
  • Anyone who wants a new way of teaching that truly prepares kids for the big challenges to come

Ken Robinson is a writer, international speaker and education advisor. He’s taught pedagogy at the University of Warwick and advised the UK government on arts in schools. In 2006, he delivered TED’s most-watched presentation ever: “How Schools Kill Creativity.”

Lou Aronica is an American editor and publisher who’s written four novels and is the co-author of several works of nonfiction.

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Creative Schools

Revolutionizing Education from the Ground Up

By Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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Creative Schools: Revolutionizing Education from the Ground Up by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica
Synopsis

Creative Schools (2015) is a guide to transforming education. These blinks break down every aspect of education from its history to the essential needs of students. They also illustrate the ways in which all people can help kids get the schooling they need to succeed in a rapidly transforming world.

Key idea 1 of 8

Formal education is shaped by the needs of industry.

Do you ever wonder how modern schools were first developed? Well, they certainly didn’t originate as a means to foster the unique personality, creativity and talents of individual students. Rather, conventional education was a result of the need to deliver highly standardized knowledge to young people so they could work in factories.

Modern schools arose over the course of the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Before this period in history, only the privileged received any formal education. But this changed as new industries emerged, requiring workers to have some basic skills like the ability to read, do simple math and understand technical information.

So, Western governments began organizing mass education with one main purpose – to produce useful labor for factories. And, since industrial production relies on conformity, compliance and linear processes, education was based on these needs too. In fact, schools themselves were designed more or less like factories.

Jump forward to the present day and this tradition is alive and well with the standards movement, which endeavors to make the nation’s workforce internationally competitive by holding education to firm guidelines and standards. At the same time, STEM or science, technology, engineering and math subjects are given preference, regardless of a student’s strengths and interests.

But where did the standards movement originate?

It had already begun in the 1980s, but gained prominence in the year 2000, when several Western countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany performed poorly in the first PISA or Program for International Student Assessment test.

Shocked by their poor results, the countries searched for ways to enhance the performance of their students. But, instead of catering to the needs of individual students, they once again planned education like an efficient factory, setting out exactly what students of a particular grade should learn and how they should learn it – all the while assessing their progress through testing.

This meant that by ninth grade, for example, all students might need to know basic algebra and be made to prove their ability by taking a nationwide test.

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