Sir Ken Robinson - Killing Creativity
Sir Ken Robinson talks about schools killing creativity in this Ted.com video:
Below is an excerpt from this talk. You can listen to this particular section of the video at 15:00. I highly recommend the entire video if you have some time.
"I'm doing a new book at the moment called Epiphany which is based on a series of interviews with people about how they discovered their talent. I'm fascinated by how people got to be there. It's really prompted by a conversation I had with a wonderful woman who maybe most people have never heard of, she's called Gillian Lynne, have you heard of her? Some have. She's a choreographer and everybody knows her work. She did Cats, and Phantom of the Opera, she's wonderful. I used to be on the board of the Royal Ballet, in England, as you can see, and Gillian and I had lunch one day and I said Gillian, how'd you get to be a dancer? And she said it was interesting, when she was at school, she was really hopeless. And the school, in the 30s, wrote her parents and said, "We think Gillian has a learning disorder." She couldn't concentrate, she was fidgeting. I think now they'd say she had ADHD. Wouldn't you? But this was the 1930s and ADHD hadn't been invented at this point. It wasn't an available condition. People weren't aware they could have that.
Anyway she went to see this specialist, in this oak-paneled room, and she was there with her mother and she was led and sat on a chair at the end, and she sat on her hands for 20 minutes while this doctor talked to her mother about all the problems Gillian was having at school. And at the end of it -- because she was disturbing people, her homework was always late, and so on, little kid of 8 -- in the end, the doctor went and sat next to Gillian and said, "Gillian I've listened to all these things that your mother's told me, and I need to speak to her privately." He said, "Wait here, we'll be back, we won't be very long," and they went and left her.
But as they went out the room, he turned on the radio that was sitting on his desk, and when they got out the room, he said to her mother, "Just stand and watch her." And the minute they left the room, she said, she was on her feet, moving to the music. And they watched for a few minutes and he turned to her mother and said, "Mrs. Lynne, Gillian isn't sick; she's a dancer. Take her to a dance school."
I said, "What happened?"
She said, "She did. I can't tell you how wonderful it was. We walked in this room and it was full of people like me, people who couldn't sit still. People who had to move to think." Who had to move to think. They did ballet, they did tap, they did jazz, they did modern, they did contemporary. She was eventually auditioned for the Royal Ballet School, she became a soloist, she had a wonderful career at the Royal Ballet, she eventually graduated from the Royal Ballet School and founded her own company, the Gillian Lynne Dance Company, and met Andrew Lloyd Weber.
She's been responsible for some of the most successful musical theater productions in history, she's given pleasure to millions, and she's a multimillionaire.
Somebody else might have put her on medication and told her to calm down."