Sunday, February 21, 2010

Creativity and Education

I recently watched a TEDTalks video of Sir Ken Robinson discussing creativity and our educational system. It made so much sense, my mind was officially blown.

It's 20 minutes long, but each minute is fantastic. (watch it if/when you have the time)

What he says here really hits home for me. I didn't do very well in school; especially in earlier years, when the other kids picked on me for being creative, hyperactive, and artistic (because, somehow, being able to draw a really cool dragon makes me a freak). They would say I had a disease called "Katherinitis," a clever word combining my first name Katherine and -itis.

Let's just say, my parents didn't keep me in public elementary school for long. They eventually put my brother and I into a tiny homeschool run by a woman named Mrs. McPeak. The only other student there was a little girl who had bronchitis and couldn't go to public school.

It was an interesting place, and an interesting time. McPeak had a huge yard sloping up in the back, where the schoolhouse lay. She had a few _very_ old computers. Two colors: black screen and green text. In this school, she didn't teach us like the public schools did. We'd get assignments, but they were much more relaxed. Sometimes she'd ask us what we wanted to learn. My brother once did a paper on cats, and I a paper on aurora borealis. Other times, she'd bring in something new and interactive, like lego cars we built with engines that we could program (with the _very_ old computers and _very_ floppy floppies). Overall, it was sporadic learning based on our own curiosities, which in my opinion helped my development greatly.

After this, my parents homeschooled us. After that, we went to a fundamental religious school I appreciated, but dearly wish never to return to. For eighth grade, public school; and for all of high school, a medium-sized private school.

All in all, I think the reason some parents are assuming their kids have ADD or ADHD is because their kids are growing in a school system that values sitting still, shutting up, and listening. This isn't how kids should learn, in my humble opinion. As for myself, I may have Asperger's but I function quite all right. I do, however, have a hard time sitting still in various situations.

But is this a bad sign? Or is it a sign that this education system is not best for everyone? I have tons of friends who do well in what we've got now... But I can name a good handful of friends who could have immensely benefitted from a different education.

Nowadays, college life has freed my lifestyle. Sure, I've got a few pet peeves about it, but the open environment (literally and academically) has allowed me to push my artistic endeavors further, in the direction I've chosen to go.


Recent projects:

This morning, everything was gorgeous outside, so I wandered around aimlessly, taking pictures. Here are a couple good ones:

I like the squirrel picture a lot.. so I made it wallpaper-sized (click on it to see it larger).

Sorry for not posting much recently,


  1. I enjoy your blog posts very much. They are deep, insightful, and incredibly meaningful. Thanks for being real.

  2. This was really cool =) Yeah, I was one of those kids too... well I was never tested for anything but I was always distracted and bored with the things they tried to teach us in school. In 5th grade for example, I had finished a quiz or test, and proceeded to tell the other people the answers, just because it looked like they needed help. My teacher was like "what are you doing? This is a test?" and I didn't quite get the fact that I wasn't supposed to be talking to other students or why. I think collaboration is something that needs to be added back to the school system too. Kids learn how to do things all on their own, but then when they get into the job environment, they don't know how to work with others, which in my view is what it's all about.

    There's another TED talk that blew my mind... let's see if I can find it...