“Do Schools Kill Creativity?” – Sir Ken Robinson

Education is failing just about everyone - students, employers, society.... 

If there is one thing that requires changing it’s how we ‘educate’ people – from pre-school through to adult learning. 

Don’t we require wholesale reform? From what we teach and why, to how we teach and when. It’s been said before, it’s difficult to do, but we can’t keep putting off. What a waste of human potential. Schools, colleges and universities are out of step with needs of society and the future of work/life. 

If Covid has demonstrated anything, it's that we require a fundamental re-think about the 'Why'.

Most of us have taken a step back in the past 18 months and considered ‘why we do what we do’ and ‘to what end?’ Is there a better way? Should I continue down this path? Am I getting anything meaningful from it. 

And you start to question the ‘myth of progress’. 

Have we reached ‘peak’ in this area and how much stuff do we actually need? 


Time is the most important commodity and Covid forced us to question how we are using it. 

The current education system is rooted in the 18th century ‘factory model’ – impersonal and standardised. This worked 200 years ago, but lacks the creativity, self reflection and personalisation needed today. 

Education must be more than learning facts ‘just in case’ you need. 

It must be about navigating the world successfully – recognising your talents, limitations and potential – and applying them to work, relationships and in communities. 

Only then will you start to get the best out of people. 


Start now.

Babies born today who will be at primary school in 5 years time need something better than what’s currently on offer. Something that doesn’t separate us into groups, but brings us closer as humans. 12 years of school stratification creates stereotypes, winners, losers and bias. 


Don’t we need to advocate that: 

Collaboration and diversity are embraced from the outset

Problem solving and creativity encouraged

A deeper understanding of self is key to success

Confidence and self-esteem acknowledged as critical

Risk taking allowed, not discouraged


What is school for? So many students are leaving in debt, to find jobs that don’t match their skills or talents. Why? 


Because employers are looking for human and hard skills and not just academic qualifications. Intelligence is more than a ‘First’ or an A*, but we continue to trust this as being the best way. What about social or emotional intelligence? 


The world is changing; education is barely moving. 


I do worry about how we face future challenges like climate change or racism and re-thinking education is central to tackling these human issues. 

Sign up to our Newsletter 

Keep up to date with a collection of articles, resources and insights for people hiring, managing  and developing your people.

Asset 12

© Cognisess Limited, 2021