Knowledge isn’t Power
In order to include parents in crucial conversations about how schools are changing to meet the needs of today’s student, the International School of Prague engages parents in a regular series of thought-provoking workshops called, The Edge in Education. The Edge is an opportunity to discuss current and future trends in education and to engage parents in dialogue about how to best support their children. Previous topics addressed in Edge workshops include:
Creative thinking with Danny Gregory
Artist, author, creative director, blogger, teacher and speaker, Danny Gregory, was our guest speaker for the latest edition of Edge in Education series.
Danny also spent a week at ISP as an “artist in residence”, working with students and teachers alike, helping them sharpen their creativity skills and teaching them how to better understand the world around them through the lens of keen observation and sketching.
Danny Gregory at ISP
As an introduction to the topic of creativity before Danny’s presentation to parents, two quotes were highlighted:
“The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind – creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers. These people – artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers – will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.” Dan Pink
“Creativity is as important as literacy and numeracy, and I actually think people understand that creativity is important – they just don’t understand what it is.” Sir Ken Robinson
Through the lens of his own fascinating and, at times, tragic personal journey, Danny Gregory eloquently presented his strong point of view about how creativity is not a frill, but an essential part of our lives. Through it all Danny revealed to us the power of creativity; how it enabled him to bring greater clarity to his own life and reconnect to the world around him.
Danny’s message is that everyone can make art; that we can all be artists with “a small ‘a’.” Like cooking, art should not be reserved only for those with a professional skill.
“Imagine if we thought that to be able to cook you have to have a four-star restaurant, to be able to cook you have to go to a culinary institute and spend years as an apprentice working for a master chef and eventually you would be able to cook and open a restaurant. We don’t though; we think of cooking as I can make a grilled cheese sandwich, I can make an omelette, I can make a burger. Why can’t we think of art… being the equivalent of heating up a can of soup?”
So Danny challenges us to think of art as an essentially innate human trait that we all have and can bring into our lives. It’s a skill like driving or cooking which we learn and do regularly until it becomes second nature. But more than that, as Danny points out, creativity is really an essential twenty first century skill.
“We think it’s really nice to have art. It’s so great when we have art in schools or we have music in school. That’s so nice because then we’re cultured. We don’t want our kids growing up and not being cultured and just thinking about work, but the fact is creative skills, and it’s fantastic that it’s a key part of your mission here, because creative skills are what you need to proceed in life.”
If you’d like to learn more about Danny Gregory’s compelling story and artistic journey, you can view the full Edge in Education video here: