The New Discipline of Creativity

Creativity is the key to changing our public school system, says Sir Ken Robinson. The TED Talks powerhouse (he has the most-watched TED Talk, 2006’s “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”) will share his groundbreaking work on why we should totally transform public school curricula at the Plaza Theatre on Sept. 11.

Fundamental renovation of public schools is Robinson’s goal. With staggering facts, a tremendous sense of irony, and countless stories of public school failures, the British-born author argues that the optimal development of school children has been impeded, among other things, by an over-reliance on standardized testing. He will challenge El Pasoans to recognize that in the vast majority of public schools, the tremendous creative potential we are all born with has been all but ignored.

Sir Ken Robinson
Sir Ken Robinson

“He’s remarkable. He has the wit, the humor. He speaks with charm,” said Sally Gilbert, co-founder and director of the local non-profit Impact Programs of Excellence. “It’s hard to find somebody like that.” IPE has been working for over four years to get Robinson to El Paso. Gilbert says it was the El Paso Community Foundation that saw an opportunity for him to speak and pulled the event together. The two organizations are co-presenting Robinson’s speech, which also serves as the keynote for first annual Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers El Paso, a convention model from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that celebrates and promotes excellence in teaching.

“I hope that enough people understand that Sir Robinson is one of the foremost education authorities in the world,” says Eric Pearson, president and CEO of the El Paso Community Foundation. “It is so huge to have him come here.”

Robinson argues that since industrial scales and methods of production have become less central to world economies, a diploma no longer translates to getting a good job. An international advisor on education, Robinson warns that our primary and high schools are currently not designed to equip children with the knowledge and skills they need to become integral parts of thriving communities. Times have changed, and with the advent of cyberspace and other dizzying technological innovations, the creative capacity of individuals has come to be the great prize.

According to Gilbert, Impact’s rationale for bringing Robinson and many other globally-recognized speakers to El Paso is grounded in the belief that face-to-face contact with global leaders and innovators gives El Pasoans a great opportunity to learn from “people who lead, challenge, break new ground, and above all else, question.”

“He’s done so much research in different communities and all around the world, and he has so much insight,” said Gilbert.

[themify_box style=”light-green info” ]Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster or at The Plaza Theatre $30
September 11, 2015 7:00 pm[/themify_box]

Sir Ken Robinson