Education & Creativity...oxymoron?
It is because of those brilliant indivuals like Sir Ken that I stayed and struggled to 'subvert from within' certain institutions - until the rest of the world of 'educators' and policy makers caught up to his insightful understandings. Working in the Arts & Education Sector/s for over a decade - despite my personal position and strong ideas being at odds with the reality of the day to day inadequate understandings and practices of what "education" actually MEANS and IS , and could be (and don't get me started on what ART is!!) - been viewed as 'contradictory', 'counterproductive'...even "hypocritical" to those who didn't share optimism regarding the possibility of positive changes and reform.
Unfortunately any reforms in the favour of more creative curriculum requires significant changes in areas other than education ....the nature of current legislation/policy reform in arts & education is symptomatic of much deeper issues relative to the contemporay 'human condition';.....what we as individuals, communities, countries and world citizens value, what we afford "currency"..This is what's being reflected by the social, cultural, political, and economic climate we are experiencing....we live under legislations and policies that dictate the necessity - for any creative/artistic endeavours - to be demonstrably 'sustainable' (a term borrowed from economics, political sciences...fiscal policy) in order to be of 'value' and worthy of 'investment'.. it's about "the business of....".BIG BUSINESS...with "small ideas" about what a "healthy economy" is and how it can be achieved....compounded by the detrimental ways this is then manifested in cultural ideologies and issues of identity.
Do we question and challenge our attitudes and understandings regarding the importance of the arts to our cultural development? or the neccessity of fostering creativity as essential in the pursuit of personal, community, state, national or environmental enrichment? Do we borrow from business and argue that "value adding' is inherent within the creative/artistic process and outcomes; and therefore demands a means of inclusion within any 'evaluation' of 'sustainability'????
Nooooooooooooooo!!!! Instead - lets just continue to make up words to add to a vocabulary...
language!!... an oh! so proficient vehicle for meaningful communication of information -where understanding is ALWAYS clear and comprehensive - because no one ever encounters a situation where they have been misunderstood because of the words they have used to explain something or someone, or express how they FEEL???, everyone has a shared understanding of what words mean when they are spoken...yes??? )
...just give our intellect some MORE words ending in 'ism' (??)
the logical, rational ammunition needed in order for the intellect to win the war against the idea (gotta watch those ideas...they might be creative!!) that - what we actually FEEL & EXPERIENCE has VALUE & CURRENCY.
Because we do seem to love the idea of waging wars - the war against drugs; the war against poverty; the war against unemployment...wars where killing creativity is just collateral damage.
yes - of course we should consider it ridiculous to credit 'feelings' and tacit knowledge or understandings...intuition.. as anything more than the follies of 'emotional' or "irrational' women & bleeding heart hippy lefties - shouldnt we???
You might have to THINK about that...IRONICALLY!!! OR you could even attempt to tell me how you feel about it. But that might create an issue...so if there aren't words to explain it...don't worry ....if you are unaware of how to effectively define & categorise it...it doesn't matter....it's not important...how you feel can't be worth anything if we haven't developed a discourse around it - and then disprove it's existence using that same discourse...AND you probably couldn't put a price on THAT either....hmmmmmmmm????
Take that Allanah Morrisette!! I'll check your Rockstar & raise you a BACHELOR OF ARTS!! THAT was an example of irony - 'rain on your wedding day' is the result of air turbulence causing rain droplets to collide!!
Change of ANY kind requires innovation. Innovation means questioning...looking somewhere other than where we are & have been...taking risks...venturing into the unknown...it requires VISION...and we NEED CHANGE...we NEED visionaries. The mavericks...the ones who seem a bit 'mad' - we need our leaders to be innovators and to be able to IMAGINE!! Creativity is not the self indulgence enjoyed by the socially irresponsible; self centred; unmotivated; naive; uniformed or those 'lacking' in intellect, ambition, education, focus; or the "drive" to achieve and contribute something of greater "importance & value"; art is not confined to what can be hung on a wall or sat upon a plinth in a gallery or museum; being 'creative' isn't something you "just aren't"; or don't need to be - you make the choice not to BE!!
WE NEED TO BE CREATIVE...CREATIVITY IS ESSENTIAL TO OUR "SUSTAINABILITY"!! As individuals, families, communities, societies - the human race and its survival (if we are to have one) and the nature of its design..will be determined by CREATIVITY..what we collectively CREATE!!
Next time you find yourself complaining about anything outside of yourself that you feel is negatively impacting your life ,or contributing to your state of
dis - ease...for example when you have the insight of a seemingly obvious solution to congestion on the roads in your local community while sitting in a traffic jam that's making you late for an appointment with your Dr or Bank Manager, or Boss - who just doesn't seem to be listening or responding to what you are saying with anything other than the expected, and you feel frustrated as to why they 'can't come up with anything better or 'different' that will improve your situation...THAT is the result of having the creativity (that exist within us all) ignored; unrecognised and unnurtured...of it failing to be developed and encouraged in our education system, or by us as individuals, within ourselves, our family, communites & groups., ..it's the 'end product' when we pass on or support and enact cultural values & practices that discourage an appreciation of what it means to be creative. And it WOULD be ironic if you voted in our current Government or discouraged your son or daughter from taking an art class because it wouldn't help then in their career choice of civil engineering, Medicine, or Human Resource Management!
Hope you like Ken's talk xx