Ten years ago Ken Robinson delivered his TED talk on how schools kill creativity, sparking an international debate on the importance of creativity in schools. It is now fast approaching having been viewed 50 million times and remains the most watched TED talk of all time (interestingly, I last mentioned Ken in a blog ten months ago and he has received more than six million hits since then - clearly the debate is gathering pace and not diminishing). Withpupils, staff, colleagues in other schools, the Governing Board and even with our Lords and Masters, Education Scotland and the General Teaching Council, I have discussed creativity in schools and have found that all seem to be in agreement that creativity is something to be nurtured and encouraged rather than ignored and sidelined. This is something that we will continue to focus on.
During lunch today I sat amongst some of our Form 8 pupils and, once we had exhausted our polite discussion of what we had been up to today and what the weekend holds, our conversation turned to that great question, what is art. After we had exhausted the superficial responses such as, it involves making, it demands creativity and it should be attractive to look at, I introduced them to the challenging world of Tracey Emin, Jackson Pollock and Damien Hirst (who’d have thought that pickled sharks could be a topic for lunchtime conversation). Using the joys of modern technology, I could show them the images and then, of course, the discussion really got going. Now personally, I care little whether they recognise a Jackson Pollock as incredible art or little more than one step up from finger painting. However, I do care that they are sufficiently interested to recognise that creativity is a matter for serious discussion and debate.
In the coming months we will continue to consider how we can help to put creativity at the heart of a Craigclowan education. We will look for those missed opportunities and hope that this empowers our staff and pupils to unlock their potential. Meanwhile, if you have any spare time on your hands this weekend, perhaps have a listen to one or other of these links...prepare to be challenged but also entertained!
John F Gilmour