One of my favorite Ted Talks is called 'Do Schools Kill Creativity' by Sir Ken Robinson.
In the talk he argues that education is completely outdated and not preparing our children well for today's or tomorrow's world.
He traces its origins back to preparing ourselves for industrialization and, more recently, for university. The thinking was that if we can get into a good university and do a subject that is career orientated then this will virtually guarantee a bright and prosperous future.
Two important points he makes are that education is far too focused on the academic side (on 'the head') and that degrees aren't worth much anymore anyway.
We have seen the rise of 'academic inflation' where there are more and more people out there with degrees and less less traditional jobs to attach them to. This is leading to a complete disconnect between education and a successful future. The smart countries, institutions and people will be the ones who have figured this out and prepare themselves differently.
Robinson also argues convincingly that this traditional, academic approach to education stifles creativity and blunts the imagination. That this academic straightjacket means that from a very early age we are discouraging creativity and risk-taking in our children.
He defines creativity as any original idea that has value. It occurred to me that not only does education kill creativity in schools, it also sets us on a path to making career choices in the same way.
How might we think about both our education and our career choices differently? How can we light up our creativity and develop or contribute to original ideas that have value?
It's not necessarily an easy question to answer. But I believe it's something worth thinking long and hard about. I'm also convinced that the traditional approach to education and career choices is fundamentally outdated and will not prepare our kids for a successful future.
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.