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'Ken Robinson writes brilliantly about the different ways in which creativity is undervalued and ignored in Western culture and especially in our educational systems.' JOHN CLEESE 'Out of Our Minds explains why being creative in today's world is a vital necessity. This is a book not to be missed. Read and rejoice.' KEN BLANCHARD 'If ever there was a time when creativity was 'Ken Robinson writes brilliantly about the different ways in which creativity is undervalued and ignored in Western culture and especially in our educational systems.' JOHN CLEESE 'Out of Our Minds explains why being creative in today's world is a vital necessity. This is a book not to be missed. Read and rejoice.' KEN BLANCHARD 'If ever there was a time when creativity was necessary for the survival and growth of any organization, it is now. This book, more than any other I know, provides important insights on how leaders can evoke and sustain those creative juices.' WARREN BENNIS


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'Ken Robinson writes brilliantly about the different ways in which creativity is undervalued and ignored in Western culture and especially in our educational systems.' JOHN CLEESE 'Out of Our Minds explains why being creative in today's world is a vital necessity. This is a book not to be missed. Read and rejoice.' KEN BLANCHARD 'If ever there was a time when creativity was 'Ken Robinson writes brilliantly about the different ways in which creativity is undervalued and ignored in Western culture and especially in our educational systems.' JOHN CLEESE 'Out of Our Minds explains why being creative in today's world is a vital necessity. This is a book not to be missed. Read and rejoice.' KEN BLANCHARD 'If ever there was a time when creativity was necessary for the survival and growth of any organization, it is now. This book, more than any other I know, provides important insights on how leaders can evoke and sustain those creative juices.' WARREN BENNIS

30 review for Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative

  1. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    Maybe I should have read a few reviews before reading this book, since it was not at all what I anticipated based on the title. Most of these reviews are positive, which should be a good sign, but, still, I would have thought that the author was offering ideas to stimulate creativity in individuals given the cover. Instead we have an overview of educational systems going back thousands of years, changing paradigms, anecdotal stories of geniuses, most of whom flourished in spite of stifling socie Maybe I should have read a few reviews before reading this book, since it was not at all what I anticipated based on the title. Most of these reviews are positive, which should be a good sign, but, still, I would have thought that the author was offering ideas to stimulate creativity in individuals given the cover. Instead we have an overview of educational systems going back thousands of years, changing paradigms, anecdotal stories of geniuses, most of whom flourished in spite of stifling societal ideas of their times...and so on. All very general, and most of which I already knew because I read the newspapers regularly, and have read a biography or two. If you're looking for ways to become creative personally (and not trying to change society), then look elsewhere.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    We are not teaching our children how to be creative, but teaching them how not to be creative...I'm paraphrasing, of course...Ken Robinson stated in a more eloquent and thought-provoking way. Basically, he writes about how the educational system is broken and how we need to change it to foster creativity. Some readers who gave this book a bad review point out that he doesn't really write about how we can tap into our creativity. I think that's kind of his point...our formal education has taken a We are not teaching our children how to be creative, but teaching them how not to be creative...I'm paraphrasing, of course...Ken Robinson stated in a more eloquent and thought-provoking way. Basically, he writes about how the educational system is broken and how we need to change it to foster creativity. Some readers who gave this book a bad review point out that he doesn't really write about how we can tap into our creativity. I think that's kind of his point...our formal education has taken away our ability to be truly creative (not all of us, I'm sure, but still)and now we're trying to find instructions from a book on how to do it. My son isn't going to come up to me in a few years and say, "Hey, mom...what can I do with this cardboard box?" No, he's going to look at a cardboard box and say, "Cool! A pirate ship! Aaarrrrghhh!" How am I going to foster that when all I see is a cardboard box? A fascinating read. I highly recommend it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    BookChampions

    I give 5 stars to Sir Ken Robinson's talks @ the TED conference and this animated talk on "Changing Educational Paradigms": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcD... While I gobbled my way through this readable book, there is a lot of overlap between the various, easily accessible speeches online and what is pressed within these pages. Robinson has a plethora of evidence here--lots of examples of how different educational structures are reinvigorating schools, tapping creativity, and taking big ri I give 5 stars to Sir Ken Robinson's talks @ the TED conference and this animated talk on "Changing Educational Paradigms": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcD... While I gobbled my way through this readable book, there is a lot of overlap between the various, easily accessible speeches online and what is pressed within these pages. Robinson has a plethora of evidence here--lots of examples of how different educational structures are reinvigorating schools, tapping creativity, and taking big risks through the innovation of everyday people. For me, though--one frustrated educator sitting firmly in the middle of a public school system and its backward (albiet well-intentioned) protocols--I'm left with few alternatives. Without the space to be creative about how to change a school system so entrenched in the past in order to be more open to the creativity of our students, how much change can I really make happen? I would love to spend an evening discussing these things with Robinson. Not only does he has my respect, but he has a wonderful sense of humor, something I don't channel enough when thinking about the implications of change and revolution in my career. I appreciate the ideas in this book--and I'm not opposed to reading more from Robinson--but I did find his speeches online a bit more engaging, even if in both cases I'm left with way more questions than answers.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    The argument in "Out of Our Minds: Learning to be creative" is by now a familiar one. There are multiple intelligences, schools tend to favor the rather narrow fact- and logic-based kinds, that damages our creativity and especially our children who have other kinds of intelligence (kinesthetic, spatial, artistic, emotional) and grow up thinking they're no good or at least not very smart. Astonishing numbers of these kids, according to Robinson, go on to become successes in interesting walks of l The argument in "Out of Our Minds: Learning to be creative" is by now a familiar one. There are multiple intelligences, schools tend to favor the rather narrow fact- and logic-based kinds, that damages our creativity and especially our children who have other kinds of intelligence (kinesthetic, spatial, artistic, emotional) and grow up thinking they're no good or at least not very smart. Astonishing numbers of these kids, according to Robinson, go on to become successes in interesting walks of life. The book came out in 2001, and represented Robinson's long, hard-slogging battle to make the English educational system more flexible and creative. As such, many of the references are to the UK and its schools, and Americans may find those references occasionally a little puzzling. But overall, this is a strong book full of compelling arguments for taking a more holistic view of education and (at least) putting study of the arts back into public education. The only weak point of the book is at the end, when Robinson gives a few recommendations for making bureaucracies, whether in schools or businesses, more creative. The recs strike me as unduly tentative and they fail to show how we can transform bureaucracies everywhere. But as a call to action, Out of Our Minds is wonderful.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Covers a LOT of territory -- too much, too briefly. His use of headings drove me crazy: all the same level, so all the same importance? There was clearly some hierarchy of ideas here, but it wasn't displayed; rather, it was a series of sound bites. Found myself skimming a lot, as much of the summary I've read elsewhere. Exposing people to creative mediums, though, came through as a message. We know 'em when we see 'em, but getting them in front of us still seems the trick. Covers a LOT of territory -- too much, too briefly. His use of headings drove me crazy: all the same level, so all the same importance? There was clearly some hierarchy of ideas here, but it wasn't displayed; rather, it was a series of sound bites. Found myself skimming a lot, as much of the summary I've read elsewhere. Exposing people to creative mediums, though, came through as a message. We know 'em when we see 'em, but getting them in front of us still seems the trick.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Loy Machedo

    Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative by Sir Ken Robinson Out of Our Minds is a book of 286 pages divided into ten chapters where the main focus is Education Versus Creativity, the History of Creativity, the Drawbacks, the Challenges and the Changes required in the Current Educational System to promote creativity. In the book, the author believes that creativity is a skillset we are all born with, but then it gets shunted aside because the school systems attempt to Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative by Sir Ken Robinson Out of Our Minds is a book of 286 pages divided into ten chapters where the main focus is Education Versus Creativity, the History of Creativity, the Drawbacks, the Challenges and the Changes required in the Current Educational System to promote creativity. In the book, the author believes that creativity is a skillset we are all born with, but then it gets shunted aside because the school systems attempt to commoditize us into their preconfigured preplanned and pre-canned judging format of who and what we should become. To support his point of view, Robinson gives anecdotes of the Pixar World and also insights into Edison, Einstein, H.G. Wells, Jean Piaget, Johannes Gutenberg, John Kenneth Galbraith, Picasso, Shakespeare, Sir Frances Bacon taking us from the Industrial to the Information and now the current Networking Revolution. I especially loved when the author stated that the Educational System in US (and I believe it is the same the world over) was modeled on the needs of the Industrial Revolution – on Linearity, Conformity, Standardization, Unquestionable Obedience and Mass Production. (And this is what lead to the 2008 Financial Meltdown). Throughout the book, he had great examples. I also found it thought-provoking when he added that in 1950, the average American traveled 5 miles per day. Ten years ago, it was 30 miles per day. In ten years (2020), it will be 60 miles per day. Another great example was when he reminded us that a digital wrist watch today has more computing power than the spaceship Neil Armstrong used to land on the moon. And if you were every looking out to get out of Academia and into a Creative Career, this is one book that would convince you to make the transition easily. There is quite a lot of content dedicated to the current educational system, the pit-falls, the challenges, the blind-spots, and the drawbacks it currently suffers from. In fact the amount of content in this book can qualify this book to be a dissertation for a PhD. This book also addresses some very important questions like: Can you learn to be creative? How does a lack of thinking or acting in creative ways impact people, society, customs, culture, arts, and business? What are the global ramifications of the degradation of creativity? What kinds of environments and practices are conducive to enabling creativity? Where has the ability to identify and find forward leadership gone? Why didn't people see the problems ahead of time, or react to them quicker, or avoid them in the first place? Who is to judge what is creative and how is creativity judged? Why are core curriculum courses in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) considered more important than the studies under the umbrella of art? Why can't businesses find the types of workers and leaders they need to make their businesses successful and resilient on every level within a company? Why do so many people feel they are not creative? The major drawback I found to this book was that the content was at times repetitive and recurring. It could be because I had read ‘The Element’ before but then again, because of his virtual online presence many of the anecdotal passages almost verbatim – a trait many professionals speaker adopt (which is understood as I found this to be the case earlier on in my career as a speaker) and also I felt that the Title was kind of misleading as it didn’t sorely focus on Creativity by itself rather the History of Creativity along with interesting anecdotes, factoids, statements, quotes, arguments, statistics, stories, suggestions, speculations and opinions. Moment of Truth. After evaluating the good and the repetitive sides of this book, I would recommend this book to Parents, Teachers, Evaluators, Decision Makers, Leaders, Managers, Children and just about anyone who can make a change and difference into the lives of others. However, if you are looking for an entertaining book or something easy to read and kill time with – this is not the book for you. Overall Rating 7.5 out of 10 Loy Machedo loymachedo.com & loymachedo.tv

  7. 4 out of 5

    Prashant

    I had to review this book for my 'Management of Change' class and thus I had to do a very through analysis of every part of the book. This is just inform that this review can sound very descriptive to some, so bear with me. The author talks about the challenges facing the HR professionals and the business executives in the ever changing business environment. The book starts with an example how we used to see situations in isolation. This approach can no longer be used in present dynamic situatio I had to review this book for my 'Management of Change' class and thus I had to do a very through analysis of every part of the book. This is just inform that this review can sound very descriptive to some, so bear with me. The author talks about the challenges facing the HR professionals and the business executives in the ever changing business environment. The book starts with an example how we used to see situations in isolation. This approach can no longer be used in present dynamic situations when every company is fighting for the top notch talent and the fierce competition in the market. Author’s friend, Dave is an actor and had severe drinking problem. He cherished 12 pints a day of a local beer which was a very powerful drink. When he suddenly started to feel severe back pain his physician referred him to a kidney specialist. The kidney specialist after coming to know the full situation advised him to switch to spirits. On this, Dave told him that he fears to develop Cirrhosis of liver if he changes to spirits. The specialist replied that he is not concerned about his liver because he has come to him in relation to his kidney. The above is a classical example of what in medical terms is called Septic focus, the tendency to look at a problem in isolation from its context. Similarly, companies are witnessing major changes in the environment they work in. As the axis is shifting towards intellectual labours and services, they urgently need people who are creative, innovative and flexible. This book proposes 3 basic ideas that are being explained with suitable examples 1. Everyone has creative capacities, but they often do not know what they are; 2. These capacities are the greatest resource available to an organization; and that 3. Developing and exploiting creative capacities calls for a systemic strategy to generate a culture of innovation across the whole organization – but not only- the creative departments. The challenges mentioned by Robinson which are driving the need to learn an organization to be creative and to drive it are 1. The war for talent 2. The dearth of talent in spite of high number of jobless people 3. Technological changes 4. Progress in the mode of transportations 5. Mode of communication 6. Nanotechnology 7. E-business 8. Population Growth 9. The Grey Revolution 10. Work from home 11. Academic Inflation What is Creativity? Creativity is never in an abstract. Creativity is applying the imagination. Power of imagination: imaginative processes with outcome in the public world Being Original: Creative outcome can be original on different levels: personal originality, social originality, historic originality. Values: Relationship between cultural values and creativity have implications in promoting creative activities in organizations. The author brings the point home by giving a very fitted example: An Australian farmer had a large tract of land which he has inherited from his forefathers. Every year he diligently tilled the land and tried to grow something in it. But the produce was always negligible and stunted. After a few years he grew tired and frustrated and decided to give up the land. According to the law in Australia at that time the whole land went to the government after the abandonment. Few years later the farmer decided to visit his lands once more. When he reached there He found a lot of factories and houses constructed on the land. On inquiry he came to know that the land had steel reserves just 10 feet below the ground. The man had been tilling just above the reserve the whole time, if he had just gone a little deeper. By this the author wants to convey the irony that if only we can dig a little deeper, what we may find is known to no one. All the treasure we are looking for may be right here!

  8. 5 out of 5

    John

    I was interested in reading Ken Robinson’s for a couple of reasons. First, I’m an educator who thinks that my classes should perhaps be doing more to foster creativity in my students. I thought that I might get some ideas from a book subtitled “Learning to Be Creative.” Second, I’ve watched some of the videos of Robinson’s famous TED talks. He makes some large (i.e. schools follow and industrial model and so don’t promote creativity) and controversial (i.e. student cheating, if done in the busin I was interested in reading Ken Robinson’s for a couple of reasons. First, I’m an educator who thinks that my classes should perhaps be doing more to foster creativity in my students. I thought that I might get some ideas from a book subtitled “Learning to Be Creative.” Second, I’ve watched some of the videos of Robinson’s famous TED talks. He makes some large (i.e. schools follow and industrial model and so don’t promote creativity) and controversial (i.e. student cheating, if done in the business world, would be called collaborating) claims in the videos, and I wanted to see if he could back up the claims. I came to the book interested and open to his ideas. Unfortunately, I came away from Out of Our Minds very disappointed. I was disappointed for several reasons. First of all, I thought that it featured a real lack of creative ideas and suggestions for producing creativity. During the section at the end of the book, when Robinson attempts to give teachers advice on methods for promoting creativity, I kept thinking, “What is new here?” With regard to suggestions for how to actually conduct a class, I can’t see what he would suggest that we don’t already do and haven’t been doing for decades. Robinson does make some more novel suggestions about ways that whole schools or school districts could be structured differently so as to promote creativity. These, however, struck me as wildly unrealistic and unwieldy for public schools to implement. They also struck me as failing to take into account the diverse, and often troubled, set of students that we attempt to teach in schools. I have read a lot of reviews from non-educators who fault the book for not offering them any takeaways. The book, some of these reviewers have said, is focused too much on the education world. As an educator, I’m sad that the book failed to offer any takeaways for me either. The bigger problem that I had with the book is Robinson’s tremendous failure to back up his claims with research. Over and over and over Robinsons arrives at conclusions which he supports only with anecdotal evidence or with statements from people he’s consulted with in the business world. For example, on page 235, Robinson begins a section called “Creativity loves collaboration.” This, in fact, is one of the themes of Robinson’s videos and of this book (it’s also something that I hear continually from my school administrators), and I was very curious what he had to say on the subject. After all, I’ve read several studies and books that dispute the notion that creativity works best in collaborative atmosphere (read Susan Cain’s popular Quiet for a much better researched discussion on the subject). Some people and some types of creativity require collaboration, this research says, but not most. How does Robinson support his argument? With an anecdote, of course. Pixar runs a school in which all employees, including engineers, security people, and janitors, may learn about the creative arts of filmmaking in the hope that the whole company will be fostering new connections and innovations. Pixar’s is an interesting idea and set-up, but nothing in the anecdote demonstrates that the company-wide creative training has actually contributed to any of Pixar’s creations. And the anecdote certainly doesn’t adequately support the general notion that collaboration loves creativity. This is just one example of the either unfounded or, at best, unsupported claims which saturate the book. I’m not sure that Robinson is all wrong on what he says. A lot of other people are echoing him. But I think this book is bold and loud and, ultimately, pretty empty. This is an interesting subject, but I’d look elsewhere to learn about it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kawthar Ali

    I was excited to read the book after watching Ken Robinson speak in TED. But the book did not live up to my expectations. The title and subtitle are misleading, and throughout the whole book I was trying my best to link the ideas to the title, but failing every time. Some ideas in the book were interesting, but the only relevant parts were the very beginning and the last chapter. Like many other reviews, the writer seems to have a breadth but not depth in the content. He tries to cover a lot of I was excited to read the book after watching Ken Robinson speak in TED. But the book did not live up to my expectations. The title and subtitle are misleading, and throughout the whole book I was trying my best to link the ideas to the title, but failing every time. Some ideas in the book were interesting, but the only relevant parts were the very beginning and the last chapter. Like many other reviews, the writer seems to have a breadth but not depth in the content. He tries to cover a lot of ideas that are related to creativity, but also not so directly related? A bit hard to explain. I found myself trying to finish the book quickly and skimming through the chapters. I'm yet to read The Element by the same author, I'm hoping that it would be better and with more quality content. The positive thing that I learnt from this book at least was that anyone can be creative. I found myself being more encouraged to attempt things that I don't know instead of saying that I'm not meant for them or I don't have the brains for them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Terry

    I love watching Ken Robinson's TED talks. He's a wonderful speaker, so I was excited to get my hands on this book. I had to get it through Interlibrary loan from University of Wyoming. I'm sad to say that I was pretty disappointed. It wasn't focused or deep enough for me to come away with many new insights. There were so many statistics in the first couple of chapters that they lost their punch. I agree with him on many points, especially about how school systems need to change to prepare studen I love watching Ken Robinson's TED talks. He's a wonderful speaker, so I was excited to get my hands on this book. I had to get it through Interlibrary loan from University of Wyoming. I'm sad to say that I was pretty disappointed. It wasn't focused or deep enough for me to come away with many new insights. There were so many statistics in the first couple of chapters that they lost their punch. I agree with him on many points, especially about how school systems need to change to prepare students for the work force of today, which is much weaker in labor industries and much stronger in intellectual capital areas. I also liked his comments on failings in higher education to allow students of the arts to "do" music or "do" literature instead of just writing about the works of other musicians or writers.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    The author drowns a poor argument with lengthy proliferation of superficially-related examples. The final payoff of some implementable solutions seems hardly worth the suffering required to get to them. The true value in the reading was the potential for cross-functional enhancement of my own creativity as I went “behind enemy lines” to see what is going on in the field of creativity. I’ve peaked into the mind of a jealous, brooding, disenfranchised and yet wannabe academic...I didn't like what I The author drowns a poor argument with lengthy proliferation of superficially-related examples. The final payoff of some implementable solutions seems hardly worth the suffering required to get to them. The true value in the reading was the potential for cross-functional enhancement of my own creativity as I went “behind enemy lines” to see what is going on in the field of creativity. I’ve peaked into the mind of a jealous, brooding, disenfranchised and yet wannabe academic...I didn't like what I saw.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    In my opinion, this book is overrated. What it says is true and necessary for education and business, but the writing style is pedestrian at best, and not at all creative, though it is a book about creativity. I had trouble staying awake through most of it. However, what it says is definitely important, and it may have been written more with businessmen in mind, and if that's the case, it's probably more effective for them. In my opinion, this book is overrated. What it says is true and necessary for education and business, but the writing style is pedestrian at best, and not at all creative, though it is a book about creativity. I had trouble staying awake through most of it. However, what it says is definitely important, and it may have been written more with businessmen in mind, and if that's the case, it's probably more effective for them.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Luke Stephens

    The structure of this wording is so neat, tells you the design framework of the book, what to expect. This sets you up to enjoy it as long as those expectations are met. Love it. "The physical world owes no allegiance. to any particular set of interpretations. Despite the successive reformulations of scientific theory, the physical universe just carries on being itself. What changes is how we make sense of it. This is not true of the social world." The structure of this wording is so neat, tells you the design framework of the book, what to expect. This sets you up to enjoy it as long as those expectations are met. Love it. "The physical world owes no allegiance. to any particular set of interpretations. Despite the successive reformulations of scientific theory, the physical universe just carries on being itself. What changes is how we make sense of it. This is not true of the social world."

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Reading another book by Ken Robinson. I did not like his Creative Schools so much, but I did find his ideas interesting. So I thought I would give this one a try. I felt enthusiastic about it in the beginning. Those first chapters were inspiring - instead of handing directly the "solutions" to the problem Robinson offers you some material to digest and consider. It made me think, it made me even re-think what I previously thought, and I would have said at that point that it was an awesome book. The Reading another book by Ken Robinson. I did not like his Creative Schools so much, but I did find his ideas interesting. So I thought I would give this one a try. I felt enthusiastic about it in the beginning. Those first chapters were inspiring - instead of handing directly the "solutions" to the problem Robinson offers you some material to digest and consider. It made me think, it made me even re-think what I previously thought, and I would have said at that point that it was an awesome book. Then it went back to what I disliked about Creative Schools. Show a few examples of very different innovative projects and simply assume that they are just better than traditional ones. Don't bother to go any deeper or to offer any critic - no, you want to "prove" that traditional education is "bad" so you show us a handful of "good" schools. While I think that our current educational system requires deep changes - even a revolution! - I don't think that these examples mean much as they are. Maybe take one or two of those and talk in detail about them, show the reader what makes them some marvelous (and also what does not actually work yet and needs to be improved). Develop some sort of theory instead of just throwing random school names.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Yumiko Hansen

    As always, Sir Ken Robinson manages to say the essential with great humour and taste. This book is a page turner - and it can turn also your mind around. Must read for all who think that creativity matters - and for those who think that it doesn't matter. His books should be prescribed reading for all educationists, parents and especially government appointees to education departments. The world situation, with very few exceptions, is in dire straights and an imperative reason for parrents to rea As always, Sir Ken Robinson manages to say the essential with great humour and taste. This book is a page turner - and it can turn also your mind around. Must read for all who think that creativity matters - and for those who think that it doesn't matter. His books should be prescribed reading for all educationists, parents and especially government appointees to education departments. The world situation, with very few exceptions, is in dire straights and an imperative reason for parrents to read his works, is that it is a means of becoming informed and educated about what should be happening in educating the younger generatiosn and those to come. Governments need to be put under pressure and held accountable for supporting the creation of education systems that do just that - provide the means of educating rather than indoctrinating. The most inspiring books I have read on the subject ever and his three talks on the series "TED Talks" are defining.

  16. 4 out of 5

    B. Lee

    I was a little underwhelmed with the policy ideas, aside from his pointing to examples of what people are already doing. But the overall analysis of the state of education - in particular the idea of education as a societal concern - seemed right on, to me. Very much worth the read for anyone concerned about education in the U.S., or anywhere.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Ritchie

    Loved this book. Inspiring read about the importance of creativity in education. The only thing I would have liked more of was ideas on HOW to teach creatively and to teach creativity. This was very high-level/ inspirational.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Rogers

    Great exploration of creativity by Ken Robinson. Written in the early 2000s, the message rings truer than ever before. Harnessing creativity will be the single most important source of organisational competitive advantage throughout the 21st Century. A call-to-arms that both highlights the present issues and posits potential solutions, well worth a read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    jeni brasfield

    YES... YES ... YES... read this one! I always enjoy what Sir Ken Robinson has to say. He is informative and witty. ~jeni b~

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lemon

    I love Sir Ken Robinson. He's one of my main influences. BUT this book is terrible. First, the title is misleading. It won't teach you to be creeative at all. A more appropriate one would be "Why we need to be creative?". That's the whole book: painting the general picture of why we needed to rethink traditional forms of education. Sure, he painted a general picture but it's not a good picture. Each and every chapter, I'm looking for something .that'll go in depth. I finished the book and I didn I love Sir Ken Robinson. He's one of my main influences. BUT this book is terrible. First, the title is misleading. It won't teach you to be creeative at all. A more appropriate one would be "Why we need to be creative?". That's the whole book: painting the general picture of why we needed to rethink traditional forms of education. Sure, he painted a general picture but it's not a good picture. Each and every chapter, I'm looking for something .that'll go in depth. I finished the book and I didn't find what I was looking for. Disappointed. I'll give him another try but if that also ends up like this, I think I'll just stick to his talks.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    I was introduced to Ken Robinson's books on the subject of creativity with The Element, which he wrote in 2009. Out of Our Minds (2001) covers a lot of the same ground, but each of these books describes the subject from a very different perspective. Out of Our Minds is an historical and somewhat scientific treatise on the subject, (the origins of modern educational systems, the science of the brain's development of creativity, etc.). Its coverage is in-depth and scholarly (but very readable). Th I was introduced to Ken Robinson's books on the subject of creativity with The Element, which he wrote in 2009. Out of Our Minds (2001) covers a lot of the same ground, but each of these books describes the subject from a very different perspective. Out of Our Minds is an historical and somewhat scientific treatise on the subject, (the origins of modern educational systems, the science of the brain's development of creativity, etc.). Its coverage is in-depth and scholarly (but very readable). The book ends with some practical steps for solving the problems Robinson exposes. The Element makes many of the same points, but through anecdotes, case studies, and personal stories. It also weaves a more compelling explanation of the connections between intelligence, creativity, learning, and imagination, with just the right dose of scientific and historical back-up information. I found Out of Our Minds to be informative; I found The Element to be transformative. Read The Element first! Robinson's driving assumptions: • All of us have creative talents - we just may not know what they are. • These talents are an organization's greatest resource; but we need a systematic approach to bringing them out. Outline of Out of Our Minds: 1. How technology is driving change that is widening the gap between education and what our companies, our communities, and ourselves need. 2. A review of how our educational systems evolved, and how their single focus on academic ability (what he calls "academicism") has actually stifled creativity, exacerbating the gap. 3. Survey of advances in our understanding of how the brain works, and how this relates to intelligence and creativity. 4. How academicism has separated feelings (such as for the arts) from intellect in the educational process, thus retarding the development of creativity. 5. More in-depth analysis of how creativity is developed. 6. How development of creativity affects our cultural development and the development of effective organizations. 7. Steps that educational organizations, companies, and communities can take to develop and harness creativity in ways that address the gap he outlines in the beginning of the book. The traditional model for education won't work anymore: that is, conformance to government-mandated norms, standardized tests (that one struck home!), etc. The world is changing too fast - for example, rapid tech growth and change. [Some of this material is dated after a dozen years. E.g., the population explosion is not seen as quite so dire a problem; in fact, low birth rates may lead to more traumatic change worldwide. Nevertheless, his point is a good one: change is a-comin'.] A college degree is not worth what it once was; what's missing from education are creativity and adaptability. The educational establishment focuses on developing certain academic abilities, while excluding other forms of learning - in a harmful way. It separates arts from sciences, wasting creative intelligence. Experts don't agree on the definition of intelligence, but the establishment view is that it is IQ plus academic achievement or ability. Robinson says it is much more. The goals of legacy educational systems have been to satisfy the needs of industry (developing certain skills for trades, for example) and pursue academic performance (learning standardized curriculums). The arts have not been considered key parts of academic learning; they were held in lower esteem, priority, and status compared to the sciences, math, etc. [I'm not sure how to reconcile this with the decline of STEM over these same years. Robinson's view would seem more valid over the period of the 1960's thru 1990's, but not so much since then. But then, he wrote the book in 2001. Or maybe this neglect to teach creative thinking in the curriculum has diminished our proficiency in both the sciences and the arts.] Intelligence and creativity have three important characteristics: multifaceted; interactive and dynamic; we each have a different profile of intellectual and creative abilities. Intelligence is more broad than what can be measured in an IQ test - it also involves the visual, sound, other senses. Traditionally, these are usually not included. Creativity is a process of seeing new possibilities.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eustacia Tan

    I was really excited to read this book because it's on creativity by Sir Ken Robinson, you know, that guy who gave the TED talk? But it was slightly different from my expectations, even though it was pretty interesting. Rather than a treatise on how to be creative (like how Peak discussed not only how people develop their talents but gave concrete strategies), this book is a general discussion on creativity in schools, and how the current system of education, which was developed for a different t I was really excited to read this book because it's on creativity by Sir Ken Robinson, you know, that guy who gave the TED talk? But it was slightly different from my expectations, even though it was pretty interesting. Rather than a treatise on how to be creative (like how Peak discussed not only how people develop their talents but gave concrete strategies), this book is a general discussion on creativity in schools, and how the current system of education, which was developed for a different time and purpose, is no longer sufficient or adequate. Towards the end, there are nine principals they recommend, but they aren't really actionable, in my opinion. On the whole, I generally liked the book, but I noted two things that gave me pause: One, the focus on the West. Even though the first chapter talks about how his work takes him all over the world, and that governments are all struggling with this problem (which made me think this would be a global discussion), the East barely appears. I see a few examples related to China, but I don't recall a country in Southeast Asia or any other country. The history of education is wholly focused on the West, and so are the people discussed. That was a little disappointing. Two, a few mistaken anecdotes. I don't remember all of them, but I do remember the ones relating to Chinese culture. One was how steamed fish was still regarded as a "foreign" cuisine - that's not true, at least not in Singapore. Gang-zhen style steamed garoupa/other fish is considered Chinese (specifically: Cantonese). Perhaps the waiter was just explaining the origins? And in the next anecdote, Sir Ken Robinson talks about Zhou Enlai's famous statement on how in 1972, it was too soon to form an opinion about the French revolution 200 years. That's not true - Zhou Enlai was actually thinking of the May 1986 events. This isn't new, and it's a bit annoying to have the story perpetuated again and again. If you're looking on a treatise about education that focuses on creativity, then this book is for you. It's very readable and full of small jokes. If you're looking for ways to be creative, though, you're out of luck. This review was first posted at Inside the mind of a Bibliophile

  23. 5 out of 5

    brian dean

    Like many others, I really enjoyed Sir Robinson's TED Talk. In book form , however, I never really felt he proved his point. He describes 1) how creativity is being crushed by modern schools, 2) schools decide what is and isn't important - the three 'r's are important, but dance is not, 3) how creativity is needed in all aspects of study, and 4) arts are therefore important. The first point, I readily grant - I live and teach in South Korea, the home of crushed creativity. The third point is both Like many others, I really enjoyed Sir Robinson's TED Talk. In book form , however, I never really felt he proved his point. He describes 1) how creativity is being crushed by modern schools, 2) schools decide what is and isn't important - the three 'r's are important, but dance is not, 3) how creativity is needed in all aspects of study, and 4) arts are therefore important. The first point, I readily grant - I live and teach in South Korea, the home of crushed creativity. The third point is both true and under-appreciated. As a science major, I felt many classes were the equivalent of following recipes while the science greats were remarkably creative in their design of experiments and manipulation of data. The second and fourth points didn't seem that well-connected to the other two. "We need more creativity in science so we need more art" just didn't work for me. After leaving school, I began stretching my artistic boundaries - I took up wood carving and learned to play a musical instrument. Still, I feel that math skills and those of the other 2 'r's are indeed more important than many arts classes. And, the need for strong math skills will only increase. As the world's population grows,so does the need to carefully conserve, measure and ration out resources. Math skills are simply more important than art skills. I do accept that the arts are more than 'bread and circuses' for the disadvantaged, that they have some real value, but not that they are of equal importance to science, clear writing ability and strong math skills. Robinson's book was interesting, but not persuasive for me. -- I admit, I liked his TED Talk so much, I may reread some of this book again to see if I missed something important. I really feel like I somehow must have. This review may change.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I picked up this book after listening to one of Ken Robison's TED talks on creativity and education. Ken covers a lot of territory, but it's a very readable introduction to some of the issues in education today and the necessity to stimulate creativity on personal and corporate levels. I think more time could have been spent on solving the education problem. He suggests that education must be rebalanced so that there's balance across the curriculum, balance within the teaching of disciplines, an I picked up this book after listening to one of Ken Robison's TED talks on creativity and education. Ken covers a lot of territory, but it's a very readable introduction to some of the issues in education today and the necessity to stimulate creativity on personal and corporate levels. I think more time could have been spent on solving the education problem. He suggests that education must be rebalanced so that there's balance across the curriculum, balance within the teaching of disciplines, and balance btw. education and the wider world. He then only spends 8 pages delineating what he means. Some case studies would have been useful here. This book is ideally suited to those in management who can make changes at the higher levels and change the corporate culture (whether that be at schools, companies, teams). Here are a few thoughts: -For personal creativity: Remember to first be an artist (e.g. brainstorming) and then a judge. See also _Six Thinking Hats_, CORT, and Synectics. -Domain-specific creativity can be encouraged through putting people in new and challenging positions to extend their skills and learn new ones. Also, one can build smaller units that focus on projects, bringing together folks with different domain-specific skills. -Creativity is not purely personal, but depends very much upon the issues of an age, technologies of that age, the surrounding culture, etc. -Creativity is often incremental, not linear or smooth, and often involves making connections between specialists and specialties in very different areas. -Science is concerned with explanation, and art with description. They're both wonderfully complementary.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Robinson is an excellent writer and an inspirational thinker. The book meanders through the minds (and sands) of time, both explaining things about humans as if we were aliens learning about Earth for the first time, and also as creatures who don't yet know the abilities we can achieve if only we were to put our minds to it. History, geography, politics, and environments -- his book traverses it all. Later chapters refer back to previous ones, but I can't remember if I liked it because it was en Robinson is an excellent writer and an inspirational thinker. The book meanders through the minds (and sands) of time, both explaining things about humans as if we were aliens learning about Earth for the first time, and also as creatures who don't yet know the abilities we can achieve if only we were to put our minds to it. History, geography, politics, and environments -- his book traverses it all. Later chapters refer back to previous ones, but I can't remember if I liked it because it was enforcing his ideas, or if I hated it because it seemed a little repetitive. Probably more of the former. I listened to the audiobook, read by the author in his pleasing, even-toned British cadence. Favourite quotes: "We will not succeed in navigating the complex environment of the future by peering relentlessly into a rear view mirror. To do so, we would be out of our minds." "Creativity is the greatest gift of human intelligence." "When people say to me they are not creative, I assume that they haven't yet learned what is involved." "Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler did not solve an old problem, they asked a new question, and in doing so they changed the whole basis on which the old questions had been framed." "Each of us is a unique moment in history, a distinctive blend of our genetic inheritance, of our experience, and of the thoughts and feelings that have woven through them and that constitute our unique consciousness." "When people find their medium, they discover their real creative strengths and come into their own. Helping people to connect with their personal creative capacities is the surest way to release the best they have to offer."

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ietrio

    This guy is a successful businessman. His business is happy positive snake oil. Some sort of Deepak Chopra of education. And he writes on the book covers and his own site the long list of charmed institutions that have paid well for his preaching. This book is not for individuals. It is for the institutions that pay for his rent and his children's tuition. As in his other books, "nobody can make predictions" is well paired with visions of how the computers and other appliances are going to be. S This guy is a successful businessman. His business is happy positive snake oil. Some sort of Deepak Chopra of education. And he writes on the book covers and his own site the long list of charmed institutions that have paid well for his preaching. This book is not for individuals. It is for the institutions that pay for his rent and his children's tuition. As in his other books, "nobody can make predictions" is well paired with visions of how the computers and other appliances are going to be. So when your boss asks you why you wasted half of this year's budget with this clown you can write a nice essay with all the needed keywords. 'In the foreseeable future the most powerful computers may have the processing power of the brain of a six-month-old human baby' Wow! The guy is born in 1950. He has about 10 more years to live. What is the foreseeable future? His future or the future of a certain society? Why the most powerful and not the common? How can you measure the processing power of a 6mo baby? Who cares? It is upbeat. The expert has spoken. And his understanding is at the level of the next Cheerios advert. The end result? Anything that is bad in the popular culture, is bad in his book too. Anything that is good - well, it's good. Does he have any help? Like a hindu guru: find the something inside you. But, unlike most gurus, this fraud always remembers to sign with Sir and PhD. So you know he knows.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristian

    Interesting book about how we need to adjust the education system to embrace the idea that intelligence is not just how well one can read and do math. It is also found in the creative arts. Is not Picasso as intelligent as the scholar who writes about Picasso? Just in a different way? Our current education system functions much the same way it did 100 years ago. The problem is the system was designed to produce workers for the industrial age. Robinson asks why, in the 21st century, is our educati Interesting book about how we need to adjust the education system to embrace the idea that intelligence is not just how well one can read and do math. It is also found in the creative arts. Is not Picasso as intelligent as the scholar who writes about Picasso? Just in a different way? Our current education system functions much the same way it did 100 years ago. The problem is the system was designed to produce workers for the industrial age. Robinson asks why, in the 21st century, is our education system still producing workers for the industrial age? He argues, I think correctly, that the system needs to change to better reflect the world today. We need to understand that intelligence is not just reading, writing, and logic, it is also acting, dancing, painting, and learning how to connect disparate ideas.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stas Sajin

    Those who have read this book, or plan to, largely did it because of the TED talk he gave sometime in 2008, which was a great talk, really. This book on the other hand reads more like the disjointed notes written by a freshman for intro to psychology and philosophy classes. The arguments are fairly simplistic, there are instances where he is plainly inaccurate (especially when he talks about neurosciency stuff), and he really does show a lack of creativity and imagination in telling us how we mi Those who have read this book, or plan to, largely did it because of the TED talk he gave sometime in 2008, which was a great talk, really. This book on the other hand reads more like the disjointed notes written by a freshman for intro to psychology and philosophy classes. The arguments are fairly simplistic, there are instances where he is plainly inaccurate (especially when he talks about neurosciency stuff), and he really does show a lack of creativity and imagination in telling us how we might deal with our lack of creativity and imagination. Lots of pithles talk and a waste of time. But watch his TED ralk nonetheless.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    Sir Ken Robinson is awesome and I think if you watch his TED video from a few years back, you get all you need to get, though the book is still interesting. His story about the dancer is absolutely inspiring, especially for people raising children, or for people who grew up thinking there was something wrong with them academically. Who knows the real answer, bu the book provides different avenues that I know I didn't think of. Makes me want a child therapist on hand while these boys grow up. Sir Ken Robinson is awesome and I think if you watch his TED video from a few years back, you get all you need to get, though the book is still interesting. His story about the dancer is absolutely inspiring, especially for people raising children, or for people who grew up thinking there was something wrong with them academically. Who knows the real answer, bu the book provides different avenues that I know I didn't think of. Makes me want a child therapist on hand while these boys grow up.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mike McGinniss

    Derivative or just dated I expected something a little more revelatory and exciting. Instead, there were a lot of references to other studies and points of view and I didn’t get a real sense for how to move education forward in tangible ways other than several small scale initiatives or experiments. Seems like the educational “crisis” is more urgent and these small one-offs aren’t going to move the needle far enough or fast enough.

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