When I look around at the world, I see so many places where we need our students’ creativity. We need solutions to a global environmental crisis. We need new ways to connect and empathize with each other, as sides across political lines become more polarized and social media echoes our views back to us. We need help for migrants and those suffering in poverty and war zones. We need answers for our mental health crisis. We need new ways to bring education to more people. We need health care that works better. Schools that work better. A system of law enforcement and care for our communities that works better.
We need our students to start nonprofits and businesses that make a difference. We need them to be pioneering teachers, doctors, parents, community members, politicians. We need them to see a problem and think to themselves, I have an idea that can solve this, and then actually do it.
This week I had the absolute joy of discovering a Ted Talk that I feel shows this in a brilliant and succinct few minutes. What designer David Kelley shares in this talk is something incredibly close to my own heart as a thinker and educator – that creativity is NOT just for artists, and that it is NOT just a select few that have it as some kind of magical power. That everyone can be creative, and that it is every bit as important to bring creativity to professions beyond the fine arts as it is to bring it to a painter’s canvas or a musician’s fingers. That creativity gives us, as David puts it, “self-efficacy.”
We need creative engineers, architects, scientists, researchers, historians, journalists and start-up CEOs every bit as badly as we need creative souls in our performing arts halls and galleries.
OK, I’m going to get down off my soap box now and let David Kelley take over. I hope you’ll love this talk as much as I do, and that you can use it with your students or your admin or your colleagues or your students’ parents (or all of the above) to help them see why creativity matters oh-so-terribly much.