"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Is Creativity Antithetical to Common Core?

What is Cafe Communications?  From "about us" on cafecommunications. eu:
In old times, one would have said: advertising.
One and a half decade ago, professionals would have defined it as ATL, BTL and PR communication.
Around the turn of the millennium, Café Group was founded to develop integrated communication solutions for its clients.
Nowadays, all three definitions are still correct, but none of them describes the essence. Café Communications’ activity has become just as diverse as communication channels, advertisers’ needs, creative processes and the system of agency services.
So if one actually would like to see the point, here is what to note: we build and manage brands. As all Café Communications’ partner companies do: either by their own means, independently or together, in cooperation with others.
This is why Café is the ‘haunt of communication’.

Cafe Communications does for private clients what the education refomers have done for the school choice and common core industry.  The reformers attempt to integrate education solutions for its clients, the "free marketers" making money from the taxpayers, not from private industry.  Education reformers exist to build and manage brands (schools and students) via common core implementation and the privatization of public schools .  Venture capitalists divert taxpayer money into quasi public schools operating on blueprints other than the traditional public school model, and students and teachers are then managed by these top down reforms.   Pre-determined educational vendors are making a fortune on supplying the software, text, assessments mandated by the common core consortia and federal government.

Cafe Communications produced a video for its clients showing them how new and effective ideas are produced.  It takes time to be creative and the company used "the world's most talented people's" (schoolchildren) art assignments to illustrate its premise.  When the children were given little time or autonomy to produce a drawing, the results were utilitarian and sterile.  When the children were allowed more time to complete the assignment, the creativity unleashed was amazing.  When the children were allowed to draw their own ideas, no child's artwork was common to another child's interpretation of the assignment.

As you view the video, think about how this video translates into common core school assignments in today's public schools. 
  •  Do you think assessments taken every 3 weeks in school creates/fosters creativity?
  •  Can teachers foster creativity with "one size fits all" mandates? 
  •  How can a teacher be innovative when mandates take away time from the creative daydreaming that oftentimes translates into big ideas?  

From the beginning of the video:  

Our clients want us to do more work in less time.

How can we make them understand that for new, effective ideas we need more time?

We sent them this film to show them how creativity works.
 "How creativity is affected by time."

The words at the last 15 seconds of this video need to be copied down and sent to every school board, administrator, teacher, governor and education reformer when he/she assures you common core and "one size fits all" is the answer to education reform. 

1 comment:

  1. "Is Creativity Antithetical to Common Core?" Yes. But I'd give a more resounding "YES!" to the reverse of that question: "Is Common Core Antithetical to Creativity?". And I'd add that that has been the aim of the school reform notions of the last 100+years; their aim has explicitly been to inculcate a particular set of skills and 'relevant' trivia, in order to, as publicly stated, to foster the usefulness of human capital, and to, as privately understood, to eliminate the 'old fashioned' ideas and principles which kept govt activities limited to the roles the constitution bound them to, frustrating the development of a 'wiser' administrative state, better able to 'do good' unto us.

    It has been the goal and policy to shunt aside well written and imaginative material from the curriculum, ranging from Homer to Shakespeare, in favor of dry, factual essays (textbooks), and where the people found the absences too severe, to teach those materials in a 'skillful' way ('identify whether iambic or hexamic pentameter was used and explain how it enhanced the authors message'), thereby nipping in the bud, any creative thought that might have been excited by the material.

    Add to that a system of testing which allows only a gauge of how much 'factual' material you are capable of recognizing you've been fed, effectively banishing thoughtful consideration of anything that might have been worthy of such, and you've got our current 'Common Core'.

    Coincidentally, we've also got a govt that promises to reduce health care costs by putting govt in charge of prescribing and paying for it. Is this likely to:
    A) Benefit everyone
    B) Benefit more people but not all
    C) Improve the system somewhat
    D) All of the above

    Yeah. It's like that.


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