Does school kill creativity?

If someone were to tell you “schools kill creativity,” most of us would become immediately defensive and affronted…. yet that’s exactly what Sir Ken Robinson said in his 2006 TED talk.

Below are two arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’ the statement: ‘schools kill creativity’:


Indeed it does

The only classes that ever allowed for any creativity were art and music (and sometimes woodshop). As school budgets get strained these are the classes that get cut, de-emphasized. It’s a sad state of affairs. So much time spent teaching history classes and English grammar. The historical events are mostly forgotten and if you can speak properly, then you can write with proper grammar. You don’t need to know what a past participle or conjunction if you know how to speak properly.


Schools do not destroy creativity. Schools may not offer enough art classes, but they certainly don’t destroy it.

People destroy their own creativity. A few high schools are a science and technology school and yet we have three art murals and tons of music and art classes that anyone can take. If a person isn’t a naturally creative person, then they just won’t be throughout life.
Don’t blame the school. This is the technology age so the schools are just preparing you for reality. But school isn’t trying to take away your creative spirit.


Absolutely! Information is all that matters.

School, by nature, is not a creative environment. What gets you marks is your information. You could be ridiculously creative, but without the backbone of excellent, factual information, chances are you won’t get an A. Therefore, the system rewards good information seekers and punishes creative outside-the-box students.


“Kill” really? Definitely doesn’t “kill” creativity.

While you may (correctly) argue that school is not necessarily a place which inspires or develops creativity. It definitely does not kill it. Some don’t find school creatively stimulating; however they don’t allow it to stifle their creative side. They merely pursue it outside of school (for me its photography). It is an uncreative person who allows school to “kill” their creativity.

In any event, some personally think that school actually gives them the tools which helps drive their creative side. For example teaching a painter different ways of using the brush and achieving what they want. Or teaching a composer various instruments so that he is in a better place to compose from; or equipping a person who enjoys poetry with a fine vocabulary, so that they may pursue their creative side of writing more effectively.


This topic is very conjectural and I intend to hold my opinion. I’d like my readers to decide for themselves whether or not schools kill creativity.

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