How Schooling Crushes Creativity

By Kerry McDonald
How Schooling Crushes Creativity

In 2006, educator and author Ken Robinson gave a TED Talk called, “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” At over 45 million views, it remains the most viewed talk in TED’s history.

Robinson’s premise is simple: our current education system strips young people of their natural creativity and curiosity by shaping them into a one-dimensional academic mold. This mold may work for some of us, particularly, as he states, if we want to become university professors; but for many of us, our innate abilities and sprouting passions are at best ignored and at worst destroyed by modern schooling.

In his TED Talk, Robinson concludes:

I believe our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology, one in which we start to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity. Our education system has mined our minds in the way that we strip-mine the earth: for a particular commodity. And for the future, it won’t serve us. We have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we’re educating our children.

Education by Force

Robinson echoes the concerns of many educators who believe that our current forced schooling model erodes children’s vibrant creativity and forces them to suppress their self-educative instincts. In his book, Free To Learn, Boston College psychology professor, Dr. Peter Gray, writes:

In the name of education, we have increasingly deprived children of the time and freedom they need to educate themselves through their own means… We have created a world in which children must suppress their natural instincts to take charge of their own education and, instead, mindlessly follow paths to nowhere laid out for them by adults. We have created a world that is literally driving many young people crazy and leaving many others unable to develop the confidence and skills required for adult responsibility.

via How Schooling Crushes Creativity

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How America Turned Against Smart Kids Parents of gifted children face egalitarian dogmas and an anti-intellectual culture. By Pratik Chougule

Parents of gifted children face egalitarian dogmas and an anti-intellectual culture.

By Pratik Chougule

Most high-IQ children do not win Fields Medals or become billionaire tech entrepreneurs. Even the most banal achievements often elude intellectually precocious children when they become adults. But among those who do make profound intellectual contributions to the world, several decades of research suggest that their potential can be discerned in childhood. The odds that any one gifted child will achieve eminence may be small, but a wise gambler searching for the next great scholar, physician, or titan of industry would bet on the precocious over the average child.

Rather than investing in high-IQ children, however, American society has moved in the opposite direction. An educational establishment seduced by egalitarian zeal, and an anti-intellectual American culture more generally, has turned the very idea of investing in our most intelligent kids into a sort of heresy, an uncouth departure from a conventional wisdom that has hardened since the 1930s.

Those who believe that intellectually talented children are owed something special, or, in any case, that it’s prudent to cultivate their abilities, are losing the political and cultural debate. Parents of gifted children, as a consequence, are pursuing enrichment outside of mainstream institutions.

via How America Turned Against Smart Kids | The American Conservative

A Small College Is Suffering from Self-inflicted Wounds

Recently, one of my neighbors saw students from Elizabethtown College, where I taught for many years, walking down the street wearing what looked like the puzzle pieces featured as symbols by Autistic Awareness.

When he asked why they were wearing the all-white puzzle pieces, one of the coeds proudly explained that they were dramatizing the outrage of “white privilege.” About 50 students and alums had pledged to wear these puzzle pins for the next month until everyone became sensitive to how we were oppressing blacks.

A detailed Daily Mail story concerning this campaign against “white privilege” informed readers, “The school’s 203-acre campus is situated in Lancaster County, where according to the latest US Census data from 2015, more than 90 percent of the population is white.” The article also featured a picture of our administrative building, which it noted was packed full of white people. The borough where the president of the College Democrats wants “to get people to talk openly about race and white privilege” is likewise overwhelmingly white.

The student handing out puzzle pins poured her heart out to the local CBS affiliate with these words: “People of color have to wake up every day and think about race and just about their life. What they have to do to not negatively impact their life. As a white person, we don’t usually have to think about that.”

If this young woman is as deeply concerned as she suggests about the presumed suffering of blacks in the U.S., she should go somewhere where she can find some to help. The few blacks who live in Lancaster County don’t need her help and live here precisely because they want to wake up each morning without having to fear the crime that infests our large cities.

One of our close friends in the borough happens to be a black woman, an accountant, who voted for Trump. She scoffs at the idea that the problems of many black Americans are caused by the “privileges” enjoyed by whites.

The British paper correctly underlined the hypocrisy of whites pretending to be advocating for oppressed blacks while choosing to reside in a lily-white environment. This is the dirty little secret at Elizabethtown that I indiscreetly revealed in newspaper articles while I held an endowed chair at the college.

For decades, some of our departments, such as social work, education, and communications, have been full of young radicals who opt for a college that is at a safe distance from the minorities whom they claim to be championing. More than one such student has complained to me: “We don’t recruit enough students from inner cities to give us diversity.” To that, I usually responded: “If you want diversity, then why don’t you go to a college in a black neighborhood, say Temple in Philadelphia?” This invariably caused the complainer to walk away.

via A Small College Is Suffering from Self-inflicted Wounds – Patriot Rising

Former Stanford Provost Gives Most Powerful Denunciation Yet Of ‘Intolerant’ Campus ‘Echo Chambers’ By Rob Shimshock

In a recent talk to Stanford’s Board of Trustees, a former provost blasted liberal intolerance for free speech.

“Over the years, I have watched a growing intolerance at universities in this country,” said John Etchemendy, former Stanford provost. “Not intolerance along racial or ethnic or gender lines – there, we have made laudable progress. Rather, a kind of intellectual intolerance, a political one-sidedness, that is the antithesis of what universities should stand for.”

Etchemendy proceeded to describe ideological echo chambers, no-platforming of “offensive” speakers and groups, as well as the demands for colleges to take partisan positions, all issues he believes have plagued modern academia.

“We decry certain news outlets as echo chambers, while we fail to notice the echo chamber we’ve built around ourselves,” insisted the former provost. “This results in a kind of intellectual blindness that will, in the long run, be more damaging to universities than cuts in federal funding or ill-conceived constraints on immigration.”

via Former Stanford Provost Slams Liberal Intolerance | The Daily Caller

Why the Kennedy-De Niro Vaccine Challenge Matters — By Pratik Chougule

Robert Kennedy Jr. and Robert De Niro convened a news conference on Wednesday at the National Press Club to announce a $100,000 cash reward for anyone who identifies a peer-reviewed scientific study demonstrating that the mercury in vaccines is safe. Though the challenge was perhaps something of a stunt, the significance of the appearance was underscored by Kennedy’s confirming that President Trump may ask him to lead a commission on autism. The consequences of such a commission could extend beyond the narrow vaccine/autism debate. More significantly, the commission could expose the incentives driving vaccination policy, which, in the current political climate, could move mainstream opinion against vaccines and also bolster doubts about the integrity of the health-care system.

Since at least 2007, Trump has suggested that the recent “epidemic” of autism might be related to current immunization practices. He is not categorically against immunization—in fact, he is “totally in favor of vaccines,” as he says—but he suggests that the rate and quantity of injections given to infants, per the recommended immunization schedule, may contribute to incidents of autism. In Trump’s words, “massive combined inoculations” and “simultaneous vaccinations” may be producing a wave of “doctor-inflicted autism.”

Trump’s central point that diagnoses of autism have skyrocketed alongside an increase in childhood vaccination is not in dispute. The term “early infantile autism” was first introduced in 1943 based on clinical observations of eleven children. When Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger published a groundbreaking paper on autism a year later, it drew little attention, and, indeed, was only translated and annotated into English in 1991. Possible links between immunization and autism did not draw much comment in subsequent years because mass vaccination itself was not yet a common practice. It wasn’t until 1949 that the combined diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DPT) vaccine was licensed in the United States for pediatric use, and it was only around this time that large-scale vaccine production for public health became feasible.

via Why the Kennedy-De Niro Vaccine Challenge Matters | The American Conservative

TRANSHUMANIST TAKEOVER: COMMON CORE 2.0 – DARK JOURNALIST & DR. JOSEPH FARRELL – YouTube

TRANSHUMANIST TAKEOVER: COMMON CORE 2.0 – DARK JOURNALIST & DR. JOSEPH FARRELL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34IJbwnzoyY

via TRANSHUMANIST TAKEOVER: COMMON CORE 2.0 – DARK JOURNALIST & DR. JOSEPH FARRELL – YouTube

Blowing Your Mind — as Promised | Scott Adams’ Blog

About a year ago I told you that Donald Trump would change far more than politics. I predicted that he would change your understanding of the human condition and your role in reality.

Back then, I couldn’t explain what I meant. You didn’t have the mental framework to hold this new idea – unless you were a trained hypnotist or a cognitive scientist. The ideas were too radical.

Until now.

I saw this situation developing last year. The Master Persuader opened a crack in the universe so we mortals could – for the first time – understand the nature of reality. At the end of this short blog post I will link to an article that will blow your mind.

But first I will describe the mental framework you need to accept this new vision of reality. The framework goes like this:

1. Smart, well-informed people disagree on nearly all major issues. So being smart and well-informed doesn’t help you grasp reality as much as you would hope. If it did, all of the smart, well-informed people would agree. They don’t.

2. Trump says lots of things that don’t pass the fact-checkers’ tests. His supporters don’t care because facts don’t influence decisions. Humans decide first, then rationalize their irrational choices with cherry-picked data. You see this all the time with the people who disagree with your brilliance. Just remember that they see the same irrationality in you that you see in them.

via Blowing Your Mind — as Promised | Scott Adams’ Blog