Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Speakout Advanced p 86. Do Schools Kill Creativity? Extra Listening

When it comes to educating children sometimes it is hard to keep a balance between setting clear boundaries and on the other hand allowing some leeway for creativity.







Listen to the talk and fill in the gaps

1.    In this conference there have been three __________.
2.    The first one is the ____________ / ___________ of human creativity in all of the presentations.
3.    The second one is that we do not know how the future may _____ / ___.
4.    We have a huge __________ / ___________ in education. 

5. The third one is that we've all agreed __________ on the really extraordinary capacity that children have.
6. And my contention is, all kids have tremendous talents and we ___________ them, pretty ruthlessly.
7. A little girl who hardly paid attention in one drawing lesson she did. The teacher was ___________.
8. When my son was 4 he was in the __________ play.  
9. James got the part of Joseph, which we were ___________ about.
10. The school auditorium was ___________ / _______ of agents in T-shirts: "James Robinson IS Joseph!"
11. The three kings come in ________ gifts. They bring gold, ______________ and _________.
12. Kids will take a chance. If they don't know, they'll __________ / ______ /_________. They're not frightened of being wrong.
13. We moved from Stratford to Los Angeles, so you can imagine what a ___________ transition this was. 
14. Sarah was the love of his life. He'd known her for a month. _________ / _____, they'd had their fourth anniversary, because it's a long time when you're 16.  
15. Every education system on earth has the same ____________ of subjects. There isn't an education system on the planet that teaches dance every day. We all have bodies, don't we? Did I ______ / ______ / _______?


KEY

1.    In this conference there have been three themes.
 



2.    The first one is the extraordinary evidence of human creativity in all of the presentations
 



3.    The second one is that we do not know how the future may play out.
Play something out: when an event is played out, it happens. Enact. Their love affair was played out against the backdrop of war.


4.    We have a huge vested interest in education.
Vested interest (in something) a personal reason for wanting something to happen, especially because you get some advantage from it. E.g. They have a vested interest in keeping the club as exclusive as possible.


5. The third one is that we've all agreed nonetheless on the really extraordinary capacity that children have.



6. And my contention is, all kids have tremendous talents and we squander them, pretty ruthlessly.
Squander something (on somebody/something) to waste money, time, etc. in a stupid or careless way. Sp. derrochar. E.g. He squandered all his money on gambling. He just squandered his talent.


7. A little girl who hardly paid attention in one drawing lesson she did. The teacher was fascinated.



8. When my son was 4 he was in the nativity play.



9. James got the part of Joseph, which we were thrilled about.



10. The school auditorium was crammed full of agents in T-shirts: "James Robinson IS Joseph!"



11. The three kings come in bearing gifts. They bring gold, frankincense and myrrh



12. Kids will take a chance. If they don't know, they'll have a go. They're not frightened of being wrong.



13. We moved from Stratford to Los Angeles, so you can imagine what a seamless transition this was.
Seamless: changing very smoothly. 


 
14. Sarah was the love of his life. He'd known her for a month. Mind you, they'd had their fourth anniversary, because it's a long time when you're 16.
Mind you: used to add something to what you have just said, especially something that makes it less strong. Sp. A decir verdad, eso sí. E.g. I've heard they're getting divorced. Mind you, I'm not surprised—they were always arguing.


15. Every education system on earth has the same hierarchy of subjects. There isn't an education system on the planet that teaches dance every day. We all have bodies, don't we? Did I miss a meeting?




Listening task 2: watch the video above and fill in the gaps with a word or expression.


Good morning. How are you? It's been great,___________? I've been blown away by the whole thing. In fact, I'm leaving.

There have been three themes,___________?, running through the conference, which are relevant to what I want to talk about.

One is the extraordinary evidence of human creativity in all of the presentations that we ______ and in all of the people here. Just the variety of it and the range of it.

The second is, that it's put us in a place where we have no idea what's going to happen, in terms of the future, no idea how this ______ play out.

I have an interest in education -- actually, what I find is, everybody has an interest ____ education; don't you? I find this very interesting. If you're at a dinner party, and you say you work in education -- actually, you're not often at dinner parties, frankly, if you _____ in education, you're not asked. And you're never asked back, curiously. That's strange to me. But if you are, and you say to somebody, you know, they say, "What do you do," and you say you work in education, you can see the blood run from their face. They're like, "Oh my god," you know, "why me? My one night ____ all week." But if you ask people about their education, they pin you to the wall. Because it's one of those things that goes deep with people, am I right?, like religion, and money, and other things.

I have a big interest in education, and I think we all do, we have a huge vested interest in it, partly because it's education that's meant to take us into this future that we ______ grasp.

If you think of it, children starting school this year will be retiring in 2065. Nobody has a ______, despite all the expertise that's been on parade for the past four days, what the world will look like in five years' time. And yet we're meant to be educating them for it.
So the unpredictability, I think, is extraordinary.

And the third part of this is that we've all agreed _____________ on the really extraordinary capacity that children have, their capacities for innovation. I mean, Sirena last night was a marvel, wasn't she, just seeing what she could do. And she's exceptional, but I think she's not, so to speak, exceptional in the whole of childhood. What you have there is a person of extraordinary dedication ___________ found a talent.

And my contention is, all kids have tremendous _______ and we squander them, pretty ruthlessly.

So I want to talk about education and I want to talk about creativity. My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status. [applause] Thank you.

That was it, by the way, thank you very much. Soooo, 15 minutes _____. Well, I was born ...

I heard a great story recently, I love telling it, of a little girl who was in a drawing lesson, she was 6 and she was at the back, drawing, and the teacher said this little girl hardly paid attention, and in this drawing lesson she did. The teacher _______________ and she went over to her and she said, "What are you drawing?" and the girl said, "I'm drawing a picture of God." And the teacher said, "But nobody knows what God looks like." And the girl said, "They will in a minute."

When my son was 4 in England -- actually he was 4 ______________, to be honest; if we're being strict about it, wherever he went, he was 4 that year -- he was in the nativity play. Do you remember the story? No, it was big, it was a big story. Mel Gibson did the sequel, you may have seen it, "Nativity II." But James got the part of Joseph, which we were thrilled about. We considered this to be one of the lead parts. We had the place crammed full of agents in T-shirts: "James Robinson IS Joseph!" He __________________ to speak, but you know the bit where the three kings come in. They come in bearing gifts, and they bring gold, frankincense and myrhh. This really happened -- we were sitting there and we think they just went out of sequence, we talked to the little boy afterward and we said, "You OK with that" and he said "Yeah, why, was that wrong?" -- they just switched, I think that was it. Anyway, the three boys came in, little 4-year-olds with tea towels on their heads, and they put these boxes down, and the first boy said, "I bring you gold." The second boy said, "I bring you myrhh." And the third boy said, "Frank sent this."

What these things have in common is that kids will take a chance. If they don't know, they'll have _______________. Am I right? They're not frightened of being wrong.

Now, I don't mean to say that being wrong is the same thing as being creative. What we do know is, if you're not prepared to be wrong, you___________ come up with anything original. If you're not prepared to be wrong. And by the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong.

And we run our companies like this, by the way, we stigmatize mistakes. And we're now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you _________________.

And the result is, we are educating people out of their creative capacities.

Picasso once said this, he said that all children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we ______________________. I believe this passionately, that we don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather we get educated out of it. So why is this?

I lived in Stratford-on-Avon until about five years ago, in fact we moved from Stratford to Los Angeles, so you can imagine what a seamless transition this was. Actually we lived in a place called Snitterfield, just outside Stratford, which is where Shakespeare's father was born. Were you struck by a new thought? I was. You don't think of Shakespeare having a father, do you? Do you? Because you don't think of Shakespeare being a child, do you? Shakespeare being 7? I never thought of it. I mean, he was 7 at some point; he was in somebody's English class, ___________? How annoying would that be? "Must try harder."

Being sent to bed by his dad, you know, to Shakespeare, "Go to bed, now," to William Shakespeare, "and put the pencil down. And stop speaking like that. It's confusing everybody."

Anyway, we moved from Stratford to Los Angeles, and I just want to say a word about the transition, actually. My son ____________ to come. I've got two kids, he's 21 now, my daughter's 16; he didn't want to come to Los Angeles. He loved it, but he had a girlfriend in England. This was the love of his life, Sarah. ____________ her for a month. Mind you, they'd had their fourth anniversary, because it's a long time when you're 16. Anyway, he was really upset on the plane, and he said, "I'll never find another girl like Sarah." And we were ______________ about that, frankly, because she was the main reason we were leaving the country.

But something strikes you when you move to America and when you travel around the world: every education system on earth has the same hierarchy of subjects. Every one, doesn't matter where you go, you'd think it would be otherwise but it isn't. At the top are mathematics and languages, then the humanities, and the ______________ are the arts. Everywhere on earth.

And in pretty much every system too, there's a hierarchy within the arts. Art and music are nomally given a higher status in schools than drama and dance. There isn't an education system on the planet that teaches dance every day to children the way we teach them mathematics. Why? Why not? I think this is rather important. I think maths is very important but so is dance. Children dance all the time if they're allowed to, we all do. We all have bodies, don't we? Did I miss a meeting?




KEY:


Good morning. How are you? It's been great, hasn't it? I've been blown away by the whole thing. In fact, I'm leaving.

There have been three themes, haven't there? running through the conference, which are relevant to what I want to talk about.

One is the extraordinary evidence of human creativity in all of the presentations that we've had and in all of the people here. Just the variety of it and the range of it.

The second is, that it's put us in a place where we have no idea what's going to happen, in terms of the future, no idea how this may play out.

I have an interest in education -- actually, what I find is, everybody has an interest in education; don't you? I find this very interesting. If you're at a dinner party, and you say you work in education -- actually, you're not often at dinner parties, frankly, if you work in education, you're not asked. And you're never asked back, curiously. That's strange to me. But if you are, and you say to somebody, you know, they say, "What do you do," and you say you work in education, you can see the blood run from their face. They're like, "Oh my god," you know, "why me? My one night out all week." But if you ask people about their education, they pin you to the wall. Because it's one of those things that goes deep with people, am I right?, like religion, and money, and other things.

I have a big interest in education, and I think we all do, we have a huge vested interest in it, partly because it's education that's meant to take us into this future that we can't grasp.

If you think of it, children starting school this year will be retiring in 2065. Nobody has a clue, despite all the expertise that's been on parade for the past four days, what the world will look like in five years' time. And yet we're meant to be educating them for it.
So the unpredictability, I think, is extraordinary.

And the third part of this is that we've all agreed nonetheless on the really extraordinary capacity that children have, their capacities for innovation. I mean, Sirena last night was a marvel, wasn't she, just seeing what she could do. And she's exceptional, but I think she's not, so to speak, exceptional in the whole of childhood. What you have there is a person of extraordinary dedication who found a talent.

And my contention is, all kids have tremendous talents and we squander them, pretty ruthlessly.

So I want to talk about education and I want to talk about creativity. My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status. [applause] Thank you.

That was it, by the way, thank you very much. Soooo, 15 minutes left. Well, I was born ...

I heard a great story recently, I love telling it, of a little girl who was in a drawing lesson, she was 6 and she was at the back, drawing, and the teacher said this little girl hardly paid attention, and in this drawing lesson she did. The teacher was fascinated and she went over to her and she said, "What are you drawing?" and the girl said, "I'm drawing a picture of God." And the teacher said, "But nobody knows what God looks like." And the girl said, "They will in a minute."

When my son was 4 in England -- actually he was 4 everywhere, to be honest; if we're being strict about it, wherever he went, he was 4 that year -- he was in the nativity play. Do you remember the story? No, it was big, it was a big story. Mel Gibson did the sequel, you may have seen it, "Nativity II." But James got the part of Joseph, which we were thrilled about. We considered this to be one of the lead parts. We had the place crammed full of agents in T-shirts: "James Robinson IS Joseph!" He didn't have to speak, but you know the bit where the three kings come in. They come in bearing gifts, and they bring gold, frankincense and myrhh. This really happened -- we were sitting there and we think they just went out of sequence, we talked to the little boy afterward and we said, "You OK with that" and he said "Yeah, why, was that wrong?" -- they just switched, I think that was it. Anyway, the three boys came in, little 4-year-olds with tea towels on their heads, and they put these boxes down, and the first boy said, "I bring you gold." The second boy said, "I bring you myrhh." And the third boy said, "Frank sent this."

What these things have in common is that kids will take a chance. If they don't know, they'll have a go. Am I right? They're not frightened of being wrong.

Now, I don't mean to say that being wrong is the same thing as being creative. What we do know is, if you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original. If you're not prepared to be wrong. And by the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong.

And we run our companies like this, by the way, we stigmatize mistakes. And we're now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make.

And the result is, we are educating people out of their creative capacities.

Picasso once said this, he said that all children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up. I believe this passionately, that we don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather we get educated out of it. So why is this?


I lived in Stratford-on-Avon until about five years ago, in fact we moved from Stratford to Los Angeles, so you can imagine what a seamless transition this was. Actually we lived in a place called Snitterfield, just outside Stratford, which is where Shakespeare's father was born. Were you struck by a new thought? I was. You don't think of Shakespeare having a father, do you? Do you? Because you don't think of Shakespeare being a child, do you? Shakespeare being 7? I never thought of it. I mean, he was 7 at some point; he was in somebody's English class, wasn't he? How annoying would that be? "Must try harder."

Being sent to bed by his dad, you know, to Shakespeare, "Go to bed, now," to William Shakespeare, "and put the pencil down. And stop speaking like that. It's confusing everybody."

Anyway, we moved from Stratford to Los Angeles, and I just want to say a word about the transition, actually. My son didn't want to come. I've got two kids, he's 21 now, my daughter's 16; he didn't want to come to Los Angeles. He loved it, but he had a girlfriend in England. This was the love of his life, Sarah. He'd known her for a month. Mind you, they'd had their fourth anniversary, because it's a long time when you're 16. Anyway, he was really upset on the plane, and he said, "I'll never find another girl like Sarah." And we were rather pleased about that, frankly, because she was the main reason we were leaving the country.

But something strikes you when you move to America and when you travel around the world: every education system on earth has the same hierarchy of subjects. Every one, doesn't matter where you go, you'd think it would be otherwise but it isn't. At the top are mathematics and languages, then the humanities, and the bottom are the arts. Everywhere on earth.

And in pretty much every system too, there's a hierarchy within the arts. Art and music are nomally given a higher status in schools than drama and dance. There isn't an education system on the planet that teaches dance every day to children the way we teach them mathematics. Why? Why not? I think this is rather important. I think maths is very important but so is dance. Children dance all the time if they're allowed to, we all do. We all have bodies, don't we? Did I miss a meeting? 

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