President Matthew Holland gave a warm introduction to Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally recognized educator and author. Those attending were educated and entertained in a way few speakers can deliver – gaining insight on what intelligence really is and how to use creativity.
Similar to his widely viewed TED talks, Robinson went over different myths surrounding education, such as how modern education was created for a different era creating significant problems for students today.
With emphasis in math, science and english, other subjects such as art, dance or theater are pushed aside or completely removed, said Robinson. With nothing of interest to latch onto, he said many young students feel uninterested, causing poor grades and increased dropouts. Robinson emphasized the basics of education are not disciplines, but purposes.
In one demonstration, Robinson had the audience raise their hands and rate how creative they were and then how intelligent they were. The results were surprising, as most people considered themselves more creative than intelligent and didn’t associate their creativity with intelligence.
“I liked when he had us raise our hands . . . I learned that my passion of art is intelligence,” said Sara Jensen, junior.
Robinson went on to explain how all children are born with great creative confidence but lose that over time, which results in unhappiness.
“Many people go through the whole of their education not understanding a fraction of what their capable of,” Robinson said.
As students, he said we invest a lot of money and time pursuing our education, expecting to get a job and be independent while contributing to the economy. Robinson taught that economic reasons are essentially to why we go to school, expecting future generations will follow suit and be independent.
He spoke of how we live in a world where cultural diversity is widespread and standing out while still being connected is challenging but education helps. Culture is paramount, according to Robinson, and is central in understanding why and how people get educated. Choosing a school and picking a major all become very personal and vary person-to-person, but education remains the end goal for every student.
“I learned you can’t be creative in the abstract. You have to get out and do something,” sophomore Cody Hansen said.
Robinson emphasized the need for students to be adaptive in a world of constant change and advancement in technology, using their creative edge to stay ahead of the competition.
Using the example of Kodak and their file for bankruptcy as an example of poor innovation and creativity, Robinson reminded students that Kodak at one time dominated its industry.While heavy usage of Facebook, Photobucket and Instagram has caused photography to explode in popularity, older companies that failed to keep their creative edge have been deleted.
“One of the core principles of creative education is that they feed each other in ways that are often surprising,” Robinson said.
He used the example of Steve Jobs and the iPhone. From this one device, millions of aps have transformed the iPhone into a wonderful tool.
“The great achievements of human culture have come from people that didn’t stay with the program,” Robinson said.