Do Teachers Kill Creativity?

Do teachers kill creativity? What is the harm that a “teacher” does, just by being a teacher? Do we indeed stunt student achievement, growth and “thought” by our mere presence as a model and person to look up to and copy/become?

Like Ken Robinson’s story in “Do School’s Kill Creativity”, where the little girl is drawing God and the teacher says, “You can’t draw god!” — are we limiting our students by teaching our students? Where does culture start and control begin?

I remember when I was a kid. It was nice to observe adults but I much preferred doing it myself, learning by myself. Teachers were actual barriers on the road to learning. So many detours I had to take, to think for myself! To find the quick way, the effective way to the nuggets of gold and understanding.

Watch the video below comparing chimpanzees and children. Thought provoking.

I’m more and more calling for a world of self directed learning. Technology is prying open that door, that possibility. I think that maybe we do have it wrong. Teachers – who needs them?

(** note, this video suggests that humans are the only animals that “teach”. I just watched a BBC Earth video where they showed a clip of a mother teaching her baby chimp to use the proper stick to fish for termites. So this notion of our uniqueness is false. Surprisingly, the baby chimp kept pushing away the mother’s “stick” , kept pushing away the teacher. Maybe that’s why Jesus’ famous phrase, so hotly debated (Luke 14:26 – “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.”))

Find more videos like this on EFL CLASSROOM 2.0

Part 2 here.

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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2 Responses

  1. Kirsten says:

    I remember my French teacher when I was 15 or 16 telling me I couldn’t say “Je vais au college en navette” (I go to school by spaceship) as, evidently, this was not in the GCSE specification. Now, when teaching transport, the rebel in me makes sure they all know how to say spaceship should they choose to use it one day.

  2. ddeubel says:

    LOL! The perfect revenge!

    I remember in grade 7, farm school, giving my public speaking speech on “guerrilla warfare” and nobody, not even the teacher understanding that it wasn’t “gorilla” warfare. (and enduring the taunts of students afterwards!)

    Now when doing homophones – I make sure to teach that one!

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