Creativity, Education, and the Economy


I’ve been an educator for almost fifteen years.  When I was a student, school teachers and professional administrators emphasized that my college education was meant to expand my mind, make me a global citizen, and teach me nothing if just the ability to teach myself.  However more and more, as an educator, I see both the public and the educational institutions claiming that the role of an education is to prepare students for a job.

As practical and as sound as this premise may appear at first blush, it is in fact not only impractical but impossible to achieve.  If colleges and Universities think they can prepare students for the jobs that students will have four years (or five or six) after they graduate, they are deluded.  Jobs will change.  The jobs that are in existance right now did not exist when we were training to be teachers.  It’s a losing proposition to pretend that we can prepare students for a future that we cannot predict.

We should, however, teach our students to be job creators.  

Graduates of colleges and universities should be able to have sufficient skills, knowledge and creativity to make something new out of various existing sources, to open new paths and explore new possibilities.  I am not the only one who thinks so.

The following article is re-blogged from Sir K Robinson‘s website.

Nobody has a guaranteed seat at the top anymore. They never did, of course, but the fact is if America wants to remain competitive in the global markets of the 21st century, creativity is not a luxury. America needs a workforce that is flexible, adaptable and highly creative; and it needs an education system that can develop these qualities in everyone.

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