Thursday, December 02, 2010

divergent thinking and value creation

One of my favourite and most repeated nuggets borrowed from Sir Ken Robinson is his description of creativity.

Creativity being the process of having original ideas that
have value.

An essential component for creativity being divergent thinking - the ability to think in a non-linear fashion, laterally and be able to see multiple possible answers to a problem.

Sir Ken points to an example where 98% kindergarten kids scored at genius levels when given divergent thinking tests, however the same bunch several years later given the same test and genius levels were down to 15%.

This dip is, of course, following prolonged exposure to 'education', the nub of sir ken's view being that our current education system - based on an archaic industrial revolution production line model - is fundamentally broken.

My thanks to Roy Leighton, who pointed me at this fantastic RSAanimate film that illustrates Sir Ken's RSA lecture Changing Education Paradigms.

Roy was making the connection between this and the work of Japanese philosopher and education theorist Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (1871-1944), about whom I wrote a snippet about last year.

Makiguchi identified the 'central purpose of education as the creation of value', formed around a belief in the unlimited potential and creativity of every student.

He also famously noted; 'Humans cannot create matter: what we can create, however, is value and value only. When we praise persons for their 'strength of character', we are really acknowledging their superior ability to create value.'

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