Most people tend to run from failure as though it were some kind of disease -- a life sentence. Yet, it is anything but that. In order to change the system, to help the "square peg" kids, our national conversation needs to be turned towards failure.
When my son was in the fourth grade, his class did a short version of Romeo and Juliet. I don't know why that play was decided on for the fourth grade, but I believe his teacher was a romantic and liked the idea of little kids acting out this play of love and glory.
Sir Ken Robinson notes the universal but rarely acknowledged hierarchy of the subjects, in which math is esteemed most, followed by the sciences and then the humanities, and the theatrical arts the least. Hierarchies, however, crush creativity.
More neuroscientists, psychologists, educators and others are finding that the arts help nurture the right hemisphere of the brain, and is exactly what the more left brained curriculum needs to create the new thinking skills leading to creativity.
Many of us imagine that creativity involves a sudden flash of insight; that it comes as a gift, without much effort; and we believe that expertise and learning blocks creativity. But these beliefs are just myths.
Sir Ken's talk is a reminder that people everywhere recognize that there is no issue more important to our future than the education of our newest generations. And his message, fittingly, is that we are the people we've been waiting for all along.
Research demonstrates that the aspirations for schools that Sir Ken Robinson sets forward in his TEDTalk are by no means unattainable. Unfortunately, the vast majority of schools -- private as well as public -- still adhere to the traditional industrial model that relies on self-contained classrooms.
It's easy and tempting to blame teachers or unions or professors for the problems in education, but the reality is that here -- as in the political institutions about which we so passionately complain -- we get what we deserve, or rather, we get the natural result of the choices we make.
There is a reason that every graphic software has "brush" tools: it is because technology is trying very, very hard to emulate the subtlety of expression that only a physical brush applied a human hand to actual materials can truly offer.