Here in the UK there is an ongoing debate about the need for creativity in education. Our current Minister for Education Michael Gove says he is all for it but is not delivering on the ground. Far from it.
Here’s a snippet from an excellent article by Ken Robinson.
Hans Zimmer is an Oscar-winning composer, who has created the scores for some of Hollywood’s most successful films. As a child he loved to play the piano but had no patience for scales and rote learning. Whenever he tried to play or compose, his teacher would stop him and say: “Go and practice your scales!” He admits to being disruptive at school and was actually thrown out of eight of them. Finally, he arrived at number nine.
The headmaster took him to one side on the first day and said: “Look, I’ve read all these reports. How are we going to avoid this sort of trouble here? What is it you really want to do?” Hans said that all he really wanted to do was play music. With the head’s support, he spent most of the time doing exactly that. Slowly he became engaged in other work too………The real driver of creativity is an appetite for discovery and a passion for the work itself. When students are motivated to learn, they naturally acquire the skills they need to get the work done. Their mastery of them grows as their creative ambitions expand. You’ll find evidence of this process in great teaching in every discipline from football to chemistry.
Read the full article HERE
Michael Gove appears to have, according to Ali Franks,
rejected the understanding of teachers and researchers who have spent their professional lives studying this phenomenon because it does not fit with his wider, conservative view of how society should be…..it seems he would prefer an uninspired generation of fact learners than a group of young people with the means to face a future more uncertain than any human has ever faced.
Award winning film-maker and Artistic Director of the London Olympics opening ceremony Danny Boyle has urged his colleagues in the creative industries to fight for the English baccalaureate (New curriculum proposals from Gove) to include cultural subjects. The director spoke out after he and his creative team received the Beyond Theatre award at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards, for their work on the Olympics opening ceremony. Addressing the audience, Boyle said:
“You are the great and good and you have been lucky some of you, and you are very powerful – some of you know it, some of you don’t know it. If there is any way you can help make culture, music, dance, theatre a core of the new English baccalaureate you will have given something beyond what you give every day.”
Later in the evening, theatre and film director Stephen Daldry also called for support in the campaign to include creative subjects in the national curriculum.After congratulating Boyle for the success of the Olympics opening ceremony, Daldry made an appeal to the audience to “do what they can” to help. He said:
“We are entering difficult times. As Danny said, we have to fight for the curriculum, it is essential.
“The most important thing we can do now is talk to our politicians and talk to our business leaders and say this is the country we want to be in and believe in, we don’t want to go backwards, we’ve got to go forwards. Please do what you can.”
Recently I completed a 6 week drumming/storytelling/song project with a group of Nursery (Pre School) children. Here is what their teacher said:
Sandal Primary School’s Nursery children thoroughly enjoyed Paul’s Rhythmbridge sessions. Singing, dancing and playing the African drums, the children wholeheartedly joined in with Paul’s highly interactive stories from around the world.In the last of six sessions, parents and carers were invited to join in with the fun. Paul amazingly captivated the children’s attention for a whole hour each session. The children engaged with the rhythms and the stories showing high levels of fascination throughout. Rhythmbridge is brilliant for developing young children’s early listening, speaking, social, reading, musical and drama skills; an all encompassing effective learning experience for all. A really big thanks for all your work with us. The children absolutely loved it and asked if they’d be drumming again for several weeks afterwards.
Michelle Tate, Head of Early Years Unit
How difficult is this for Mr Gove to grasp?