Edutopia, the George Lucas Educational Foundation website, has creativity advocate Ken Robinson's speech on its website. For a cogent argument for creative education -- and one that makes links between the education crisis and the environmental crisis -- see this 16 minute video on the link.
Which of your educational experiences do you really remember? Was it a worksheet? Didn't think so. I'd love to have a collection of some of your most meaningful educational experiences, so leave a comment if something comes to mind.
I was lucky enough to be part of an amazing children's theater program that reinforced the value of creative thinking that my parents nurtured in me and my siblings. We were children of books read out loud, of museum visits, of trips across the country with maps and postcards and camping in state parks, of birdwatching and planting gardens, of paints and playhouses. Our dramatic adventures and inventions were watched and applauded. My parents spent hours waiting for me outside of the Baylor Theatre when rehearsals ran late. I took creative work and its value in the family for granted, only finding out that many, most perhaps, kids didn't have this luxury. And while my family was comfortable economically -- we weren't wealthy -- choices were made that didn't have much to do with trendy clothing, fancy meals out, or hotel rooms during those cross-country trips. But our values were supportive of education, of problem solving, of appreciation for the arts.
Baylor Children's Theatre, our own Waco Teen Theatre and later, college courses in the theatre and art departments at Trinity University nurtured my creativity, teaching me to use and reuse, invent and improvise with a sensory alphabet of elements of form: line, shape, color, texture, rhythm, space, light, sound, movement. When I go to the studio, I carry this alphabet with me. When I teach, these are the building blocks for creative exercises and invention. So where Ken Robinson may define the problem, I like to think I am working on a solution. Later this summer, I hope to finally announce the publication of New World Kids, a book that my colleague Susan Marcus and I have been birthing for several years. We're close. Stay tuned. (The photo above is one of those in the book.)