…school systems tend to bepreoccupied with certain sorts of critical analysis and reasoning, particularly with words and numbers.
Important as those skills are, there is much more to human intelligence than that…
[There is a] hierarchy of subjects. At the top of the hierarchy aremathematics, science, and language skills.
In the middle are the humanities. At the bottom are the arts [and] music.
The result is that school systems everywhereinculcate us with a very narrow view ofintelligence and capacity and overvalueparticular sorts of talent and ability.
In doing so, they neglect others that are justas important, and they disregard therelationship between them in sustaining thevitality of our lives and communities.
These approaches to education are alsostifling some of the most important capacitiesthat young people now need to make theirway in the increasingly demanding world ofthe twenty-first century – the powers ofcreative thinking.
In these ways, our current education systemsystematically drains the creativity out of ourchildren…
Most students never get to explore the fullrange of their abilities and interests. Thosestudents whose minds work differently-andwe’re talking about many students here;perhaps even the majority of them—can feelalienated from the whole culture ofeducation…
Education is the system that’s supposed todevelop our natural abilities and enable us tomake our way in the world.
Instead, it is stifling the individual talents andabilities of too many students and killing theirmotivation to learn.
There is a basic flaw in the way somepolicymakers have interpreted the idea ofgoing “back to basics” to upgrade educationalstandards…
They seem to believe that if they feed ourchildren a nationally prescribed menu ofreading, writing and arithmetic, we’ll be morecompetitive with the world and moreprepared for the future…
The reason many school systems are going inthis direction is that politicians seem to thinkthat it’s essential for economic growth andcompetiveness and to help our students getjobs.
But the fact is that in the twenty-first century,jobs and competiveness depend absolutely onthe very qualities that school systems arebeing forced to tamp down…
Businesses everywhere say they need peoplewho are creative and can think independently.
But the argument is not just about business.It’s about having lives with purpose andmeaning in and beyond whatever work we do.If you don’t think things need to change, whatare you thinking?