“It is all true. I am tremendously distinguished,” said Sir Ken Robinson as he was greeted by an auditorium full of laughs at his University of Dayton Speaker Series talk, “Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative,” Tuesday evening.
Robinson, an internationally recognized leader in the world of human creativity and New York Times’ bestselling author, spoke to a standing-room-only audience at the RecPlex about new ways we should be thinking about higher education.
“At the heart of the problem with higher education is an obsession with academic ability,” he said. “Academic ability is very important, but it is not to be confused with intelligence.”
Robinson said higher education currently violates the diversity and creativity of students by focusing too much on standardized test scores and not placing importance on the arts. Higher education, he said, is based on conformity and what students have in common rather than what makes them unique.
“We are living in times of revolution,” he said, sparking inspirational glances from the audience. “We have to think differently about ourselves and realize we have more talents than we are being led to believe by our education.”
Robinson emphasized the top quality employers at big companies look for is creativity, yet he said universities worldwide are taking creativity out of the curriculum.
“The truth is you can be creative in anything, absolutely anything, that includes your intelligence,” he said. “We live in a world that is populated by ideas. We don’t act directly in the world, we act through an intermediary of creative thought.”
Robinson stayed after his talk to speak with a long line of UD students and Dayton community members about creativity and higher education.
“The best education we can give is to get people to know themselves better,” he concluded.