• Christina Merrick

"Are School's Killing Creativity?"

Updated: Jul 24, 2019

Ken Robinson is one of the most widely known speakers and authors in the education world. I have watched his very popular ted talks, read his books and argued some of his points in different settings. The main idea that Ken Robinson explores in his work is that education needs reform to keep curiosity and creativity alive in children. Robinson describes traditional school settings that favor conformity, compliance and competition versus the natural inclinations toward diversity, creativity and collaboration. He talks about the need for our education systems to ‘flame curiosity’ and that we have to re-think fundamental principles of education.


Over the last few years Mahurangi College has been carefully looking at the way that we design the teaching and learning to include competencies such as problem solving, thinking skills and collaboration. We have also included curiosity and innovation into our PRIDE values to ensure we are making these aspects of teaching and learning embedded into all that we do. We also have some exciting programmes in place that link to these real world competencies, such as our sustainability programme, construction academy, junior concept programme and we have some exciting developments on the horizon such as a junior STEAM programme. 


In term 3 we are working with Auckland University to survey our students and see how we are going with creativity and key competencies, the survey is called the Creative Environments Survey. The students will be asked questions about how often they are given the opportunity to wonder, collaborate, communicate, be creative etc. The results of this survey will better enable us to plan for our future and see where we might need to focus our energy and time to ensure a balanced programme. 


While I agree with Ken Robinson about better preparing our young people for the future with a diversity of skills and competencies I think the challenge for us is finding a good balance in our programmes. One that encourages creativity while at the same time still provides the knowledge and skills needed. Watch this space....


Christina Merrick

Assistant Principal



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Contact: David Macleod - Principal | Postal: PO Box 64, Warkworth 0941, Physical: Woodcocks Road, Warkworth 0910 | Phone: 09 425 8039 | Email: admin@mahurangi.school.nz