My son has a major homework assignment due tomorrow. I always seem to find out the night before. Today’s is a powerpoint presentation on rocks. I conduct a quick briefing, then in between stints of smelling food in fridge drawers I call out assignments to him: google the difference between erosion and weathering. Find a picture for igneous.
As I make dinner, I think — what is he actually learning as we discuss this assignment? I do my best to create a directed learning environment, but it seems like all that’s really going on is that my son is picking up some google image search hacks (click Search Tools, then Size > 1024×768). As his assignment nears its hour-long completion, he begins to moan. He wants to finish so he can return to his favorite game: Minecraft.
Just to be clear: My son endures a 75-minute powerpoint earth science lesson, from which he seemingly learns nothing more than how to operate cutting-edge 1990s Microsoft presentation technology, so he can return to his favorite game…
Which is to virtually dig for various types of rocks.
Do you see a problem? I do. The problem isn’t that geology is boring. It’s the way he’s being forced to learn it.
My son’s school lessons may involve technology, but they are devoid of creativity.
I’m not trying to slam his school or teacher. They’re actually better equipped than most. The problem here is more fundamental. And I think it’s killing our schools, churches, and personal lives. We have chosen consumption over creativity.
I wrote a piece on the new website Medium that is a manifesto of sorts for why we desperately need to build a culture of creativity. Please go here and read it, and then if you’d like, post your comments back here.
This is really important.