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Schools Killing Creativity? December 8, 2007

Posted by ashleyquark in English Language Arts.
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Yesterday, I came across a TED Talk video delivered by Sir Ken Robinson where he challenges our current education system, proposing that we are killing students’ creativity. This video is about 20 minutes in length but is very funny. He offers an interesting perspective of our current education system.

One of his points is that schools systems are focused around what we call “academics.” Math, Science, Language Arts and Social studies are percieved as the “core” subjects and then other subjects like visual art, music, drama, physical education are tacked on as extras, but are not seen as being essential to students’ education. The way I see this model continuing is because the decision-makers in the eduation system are the people who succeeded within the present system and therefore it is in their best interest to allow this system to continue. It privileges the privledged and marginalizes Others.

Furthermore, in continuing this model of education and by privileging these “core” subjects, Robinson points out that we are sucking the creativity out of students. The world is changing so quickly that the world that we are preparing our students for is completely unknown to us. We have no idea what the world will look like in 20 years, and yet we are trying to prepare students to be citizens of that world. We are preparing students to do jobs that don’t even exist right now! I think that we are doing an injustice for students unless we are teaching them critical and creative thinking skills. Students need to think for themselves and be problem solvers. The only way that we can do this is by fostering creativity in children from a very young age.

Technology in English Language Arts December 4, 2007

Posted by ashleyquark in English Language Arts.
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This is a presentation that I gave at the Saskatchewan Teachers of English Language Arts conference in March 2007.  This powerpoint presentations outlines various ways that teachers can integrate technology into the secondary English Language Arts classroom. Click on the links within the presentation to visit the examples.