Sir Ken Robinson: Does school kill creativity?

Another TED Talk on creativity and this one by Sir Ken Robinson, one of my favourites. Robinson is an internationally recognized leader in education, innovation, creativity and human resources.

Robinson identified the exigency inspiring the situation very clearly at the very beginning. “My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.”

His humor was wonderful, understated and well-timed. As we discussed in class, utilizing humor in a public speech is risky. But he handled pretty well. For example, when he said the words mentioned above, he spoke with great solemnity and purpose, rousing the audience to applaud. However, instead of continuing with the same heavy theme, he immediately lightened the mood – “That was it by the way. Thank you very much. So, 15 minutes left.” Classic stuff, but clever too because it allowed the audience to recharge for the next serious part. Robinson did this throughout the speech.

He wasn’t afraid to pursue an extemporaneous idea, especially a humorous one that the audience clearly enjoyed, such as the humour about William Shakespeare as a child.

Overall, this is a speech full of humor, which kept the seemingly heavy topic from sliding into cliché. Meanwhile, the message has been clearly delivered. Robinson chose to have a conversation with his audience instead of persuading them. During this enjoyable humorous conversation, most of his audience were persuaded.

Edwin Lou


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