Last week I shared some thoughts about Curiosity. Funnily enough, Curiosity is a fundamental stepping stone for this week’s focus:
In its simplest form, Creativity is the act of fostering new ideas that have value. In one of the most-watched TED Talks, Sir Ken Robinson poses the question, “Do schools kill creativity?” In his opinion, they do, but they do so unwittingly. As in last week’s case with Curiosity, young people are trained out of their creativity by a deep fear of being wrong. Formal education has determined a bank
of content that our young people must cover, and they all – despite the rich pantheon of research that talks to multiple intelligences – are assessed in pretty much the same way: a standardised test/examination.
Both sides of the brain are creative. It is also an error-strewn cliché to think only of subjects such as Drama, Art, Design etc. as creative. Maths is creative, Sciences are creative. Everything around us stems from a moment of creativity. We need to challenge our paradigm of creativity and, in so doing, acknowledge that its potential abounds everywhere.
Children are not all the same, yet education as we know it largely treats them as if they are. They must grapple with curricula content in a chronological order and in a preset timeframe, and then recall said content in a controlled, formal assessment which is mostly written.
Like Curiosity, young people have the most incredible capacity for Creativity. Education must create and promote consciously opportunities that will celebrate our children’s creativity, thereby empowering them to become content creators instead of simply being content consumers. Our world desperately needs new solutions to old problems, new solutions to new problems, and potential solutions to potential problems before they even arise.
In a mass survey conducted by IBM in 2008 which involved more than 1500 global industry leaders, Creativity and Adaptability were identified as the key skills and dispositions required by the world economy from our young people. May formal education as we know it take heed of these findings sooner rather than later. But, until it does, may we at Thomas More College value our children’s Creativity and nurture it as something of immense value.
Community Safety Alert
Our colleagues at Kloof High School informed us of a local mugging of Kloof HS pupils near Kloof Shopping Centre during the day. Please ensure that if your children are walking in the neighbourhood, provision has been made for their safety. It is a pity that we have to think this way, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. Our best wishes are extended to the young people from Kloof High School who were involved in this daylight robbery.
Closing times for the last days of Term 2:
Friday 23 June: 13:00
Monday 26 June: 12:00
Tuesday 27 June: 12:00
Wednesday 28 June: 13:15
Thursday 29 June: 12:00 (Homegrown - school starts at 8:00, not 7:30)
Friday 30 June: 10:30 (reports released electronically at 12:00)
Homegrown: Thursday 29 June
We are in the final throes of tying down the logistics for our inaugural
Homegrown Experience which takes place on Thursday 29 June. We have 49 past and present parents and alumni who will be sharing their personal experiences and insights about their respective careers.
The Homegrown experience is aimed at our Grade 9-12 students (the Grade 8s will be involved with their own programme that day). Our Homegrown “Silverbacks” (the experienced elders sharing wisdom with their young) will be engaging your children in informal conversations, as well as formal presentations. Your children will be given a key (which parents will also receive via email from me this week) so that they have a clear understanding of who the Silverbacks are and what they do.
The 4 grades will be put into two groups: the Grade 9s and 11s will be together, and the 10s and 12s will be together.
Programme of the day:
8:00 Registration classes
Assist preparing venues for Homegrown
8:25 Assembly in the quad
9:00 Session 1
Grade 9 and 11: Informal chats with Silverbacks
Grade 10 and 12: Split venues for formal presentations
10:45 Session 2
Grade 9 and 11: Split venues for formal presentations
Grade 10 and 12: Informal chats with Silverbacks
12:00 End of day
CRITICAL NOTE TO PARENTS ABOUT THE HOMEGROWN EXPERIENCE
We are incredibly blessed and fortunate that so many parents and alumni have volunteered their time to be with us for Homegrown 2017. Your child will have the freedom to move about and engage those volunteers whose career choices and experiences interest him/her. Thus, I ask you to engage
with your child once you receive the key of volunteers and their respective careers about which ones your child will engage
For want of not sounding draconian, I simply cannot have (and won’t tolerate) children wandering off and seeing this as an unfocused day. If your child is not interested in maximising this opportunity, I’d rather they stay at home as I do not want to have to expend any energy at all on following up on youngsters who are not prepared to be fully engaged in the programme. This will prove to be a profoundly valuable day for our children; if they do not perceive value in it, I’d prefer it if they remained at home. Homegrown is about the responsible response to choice. I expect our children to respond accordingly.
Thank you for your support and co-operation in this matter. I look forward to reporting on an outstanding day in our first Horse’s Mouth next term.