Thursday, December 8, 2011

The educational value of creative disobedience

“The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done – men who are creative, inventive and discoverers” –Jean Piaget

Very interesting article and discussion:

It seems to me that if you are going to do work (of any kind including art), you need at least four things - information (data,knowledge,insight,foresight,etc), tools and the skills to use them, a value system, and thinking styles (abstract, analogical, analytic, concrete, digital, holistic, intuitive, linear, logical, non-rational, non-temporal, nonverbal, rational, spatial, symbolic,synthetic, temporal, verbal, etc) - together with a body capable of implementing the work. Digital storage is really good for data.

Education has a role to play in all of these areas including the body.

Implanted chips can provide humans a great service when they can restore or augment a loss of or weakened function - cochlear implants, pacemakers, defibrillators, insulin pumps, artificial limbs, etc.

Turning humans into cyborgs is not a future I would wish on humanity, especially since there are other viable alternatives.

I remember the work of Simon on creativity a number of years ago. he concluded that creativity required the crossing of a threshold of storage of information in the brain for the person to be creative. He called that threshold 50,000 chunks of information (or some such similar expression). With the present day Internet and the availability of mobile devices to access the Internet with its ever growing data base of information, and perhaps 1 billion other humans, all of the information required to be creative does not have to reside in one person's brain. However, we have an enormous amount of work to do the learn how to use this capability. One of the roles of education has got to be to figure out how to enable and facilitate the use of this tool to advance human progress.

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