To encourage learning, encourage curiosity and creativity

Apr 10, 2013
Curiosity: A strong desire to know or learn something Creativity: The use of the imagination or original ideas When we’re young, curiosity and creativity are both natural. How manykids do you know that love the question, why? Q. Why do I need a jacket today? A: It is cold out today. Q: Why is it cold? etc., etc. Pretty much all of them right? They also have an undeniablykeen imagination. As adults, curiosity is still there and ifnot overtly, than in more subtle ways like clicking through to suggested related stories online. And creativity is a part of us although more generallycalled “problem-solving” in the workforce. So what about inbetween childhood and adulthoodwhen we are largely identified as students? Our natural inquisitive and curious nature should make being a student easy but the argument has been made that standardized tests kill that nature.This conversation was recently renewed for me. Around the time that I started getting involved in education issues, I also came across TED who introduced me to Ken. Do you know them?Sorry, I’m being silly. I’m talking aboutTED Talks and Sir Kenneth Robinson. If you don’t know them, TED is a nonprofit organization that curates inspiring and interesting talks that have “ideas worth spreading”.Sir Robinson, is one of the – actually I think THE – most popular TED Talk and a leader in the field of creativity. His most famous Talk is about the killing off of creativity within US schools. I would argue thisis not true of of all schools, all classrooms or all students. Not in the slightest. True or not though,it is worthy to point out that for encouraging students to learn, tapping into this natural resource is an excellent tactic.If you’ve never seenhisTalk- go here. And if you like that, then definitely go here (I love the animation addition in this one). I was able to go to a taping of a new Sir Robinson TED Talk duringan incredibly interesting and thought-provoking day, thanks to TED, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and our NY local station, WNET, who hosted Ted Talks Education.It is the very first,live-taped TED Talk for television (airingMay 7 at 10pm on PBS). John Legend hosted – and performed, ah-mazing – and throughout the day, speaker after speaker got you thinking about education differently.Fostering creativity and curiosity was a definite thread one could follow. Ramsey Musallam is a chemistry teacher you can only hope every student gets at least once. Curiosity is his bread and butter. He develops experiments that capture your imagination and lead to questions. And it is the questions he is looking for. Angela Duckworth, a psychologist,focused ongrit. I love these conversations because it is a creative new way to think about success.It isn’t dependant on IQ but perserverance. With all of this brain power in one room,I’m so glad it will soon be available for all the world to see. In a few weeks, you’ll be able to to hear each of these talks and I hope you do watch. Photo via Horia Varlan