In Ken Robinson’s 2006 TED talk entitled ‘Schools kill creativity’ he talks about how our education system is no longer fit for purpose. He says that we are educating young people out of their creative ability and that this is to the detriment of society saying:
“Children have extraordinary capacities for innovation. All kids have extensive creative capacity, and we squander it, quite ruthlessly. Creativity now is as important in education, as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.
By the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong. We run our companies like this, we stigmatize mistakes. We’re now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make. The result is that we are educating people OUT of their creative capacities.
The whole structure of education is shifting beneath our feet, we need to radically rethink our view of intelligence.
Our only hope for the future is to adopt a new perception of human ecology. One in which we start to reconstitute our perception of the richness of human capacity. Our education system has mined our minds, in the way we strip mine the earth for a particular commodity. And for the future it won’t serve us. WE have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we’re educating our children.
The only way we’ll do it, is by seeing our creative capacities for the richness they are, and seeing our children for the hope that they are, and our task is to educate their whole being, so they can face this future, which we may not even see. But they will, and our job is to help prepare them to make something of it.”
This speech, which is the most watched TED Talk of all time has received a response, 7 years later from 13-year-old Logan LaPlante in the form of his TEDxUniversityofNevada talk entitled‘Hackschooling Makes Me Happy’.
Logan LaPlante is a 13 year-old curious and creative wingnut taking a different path in his education. He combines the “hacker mindset” with a network of do-it-yourself friends, family, and community organizations to optimize for health, happiness, creativity, and wisdom. He calls it “hackschooling”.
The verb ‘hack’ means to break in and break down, to cut to the core, to chop roughly, to subvert, to open, to decode, reconsider, and rebuild.
‘Hack-schooling’ means something more than “adopting education technology” – even though it may include technology, hardware, software, networks, websites and applications it also means activities that are offline and those that are purely holistic.
Hack schooling is an innovative mindset that does not place value on any one curriculum or source of inspiration and information but rather borrows from a range of spaces and places both on and offline. A remix of traditional education, which takes advantage of opportunities to attend workshops, watch lectures online and download resources on any topic at any time. Today’s young people need not only basic education, but the ability to deal with an increasingly complex and connected world, now, more than ever before, it is critical to look at solutions that complement the framework of traditional schooling.
I think that this mindset is one of the most exciting developments to happen to education and learning. Most especially because it is young person centred and focuses on their own perception of learning, with the understanding that school is not a one-stop-shop for learning.
Hackschooling opportunities can be found anywhere and everywhere and arts education and learning & participation programmes within arts organisations can offer such opportunities, but these organisations must be willing to communicate such offers directly to young people.
Hackschooling is about the autonomy of the young person to guide their own study and fill in the gaps for themselves.
Some sources of Hackschooling both On and Offline
Google Cultural Institute - Google is building tools that make it simple to tell the stories of our diverse cultural heritage and make them accessible worldwide.
TED Talks - TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, the goal of giving everyone on-demand access to the world’s most inspiring voices. As of November 2012, TED Talks have been viewed more than one billion times.
*Cannon Hill Lectures - #CannonHillLectures are for young creatives aged 16-24yrs from the West Midlands. The sessions aim to de-mystify the creative and cultural sector and help young people to find their route in, whether that is as an employee, freelancer or as an entrepreneur.
IdeasTap - An online creative network for 16yrs+ Whether it’s funding, jobs, career development, advice or creative collaborators you need, we can help – whatever field you work in. We’ve partnered with some major arts organisations and we try to bring our members some incredible exclusive opportunities.