Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Einstein Nailed It

Albert Einstein once said: “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” He was right. But across the world, the art of teaching creativity – and awakening joy in the process - is being buried. Instead, our education systems are intently focused on standardized testing, which ensures that the goal is to meet minimum numeracy and literacy levels.

The intention is good. Children need the basics, but they also need to learn how to think outside of the boxes society has presented to them. They also need to learn how to use creativity to lead their peer groups, within the home and in their communities.

American teachers strongly believe they are responsible for instilling creativity in the classroom. They also believe their current system doesn’t value it. In Australia, the UK and Germany, teachers tend to believe schooling creative thinking is the role of other educators. As the finger keeps being pointed in different directions, ultimately it’s the kids who are missing out.

Here is where I believe business leaders can step in and get involved. The biggest constraint on what students can do is what they think they can do. And who else knows the road than those of us who have gone before? We need to share our experiences, be honest about where we have come from and who we are, and what it has taken for us to get here. Business can provide opportunities that will spark young dreams, hopes and goals. It takes us forward and help secure our future.


Julianna Tazzia said...

I couldn't agree more. Having worked in both the educational setting and in business, I fear America's current "teach to the test" attitude will only serve to churn out mediocre thinkers. Where will the innovators come from? Perhaps if we began to run schools more like we run businesses in the first place, budgets would be balanced, the best teachers rewarded and the students would be the real winners.

Anonymous said...

The Joy of education is came only when you need it. The Art of teacher is to make education as a necessity to our kids. Einstein was never a teacher.

Faye Sharpe said...

Hello Kevin. I enjoy your blog every week. I am a consultant, coach and writer on all things 'creative'. I have designed and developed organisations for over twenty years. I have coached hundreds of business leaders to explore the wonders of their own and their organisations'. And yet I have never won any business by playing the 'creativity' card. The decision to start any project is still based on numerical value. I agree with you. Your dream is my dream. What more can we do to link business and education. What more can we do to instil the idea that creativity is a critical success factor?

James Clarke said...

I think this is so true - this also applies to the bigger picture of young people having roles models in life - people who have walked the path. I've been interviewing business people in Manchester with the idea that young people can learn how they became successful. Interesting I've interviewed 5 and only 4 went to Uni. At the moment there is a big challenge with young people not doing well at school and thinking they are doomed for a life of 'averageness' when this is so wrong if they have the right people to learn from. Using another Albert Einstein quote -"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." Thanks for your blogs – I enjoy reading them. Jim

Jacquie Ottman said...

I'm with you, Kevin. Several years ago I discovered CPSI, the Creative Problem Solving Institute, a weeklong confab of 1500 professionals in 42 countries who get together to learn about creative problem solving. It was founded by Alex Osborn, the "O" in BBDO.

I also spent 12 years in big ad agencies (WRG, Scali, etc) and am Ivy-educated. I came to the conclusion after immersing myself in all that CPSI had to offer, that a) our schools, for all they do, don't really teach this kind of thinking; and b) I thank my lucky stars for having spent time in ad agencies and at CPSI for learning it. Changed my career and life.

Hate to say it, but so many problems now being connected to "Sustainability" e.g., consumerism, were created by the creative minds of ad agencies. It will take no less than the best out of the box thinking to address those problems.

So perhaps out of the box thinking could be something that ad agencies in particular could lead industry (and their clients?) in sharing with the rest of the world -- an opportunity for Saatchi in particular?

Happy to discuss further.

Jacquie Ottman
Green marketing expert and author
Founder, WeHateToWaste.com