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Though his ideas have developed over time, Sir Ken's main argument is that education should foster creativity in pupils by offering a broad curriculum and encouraging individualisation in the learning process. He believes that too much of the present education system in the UK and United States fosters conformity, compliance and standardisation rather than creative approaches to learning.
Creativity, he argues, comes from fostering curiosity through teaching that focuses on harnessing imagination rather than memorising facts. A creative education would place less emphasis on standardised tests, and instead gives teachers and schools more power to develop teaching that suits and excites their pupils.
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In 1998, Sir Ken led a national commission on creativity, education and the economy for the New Labour government. The resulting 'Robinson Report' - All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education - called for a national strategy for creative and cultural education, and recommended new priorities in education, including a stronger emphasis on creative and cultural education; a new balance in teaching and in the curriculum between learning knowledge and skills; and giving educators the freedom to innovate and experiment. It was globally well received, and led to Sir Ken contributing to Singapore's education strategy. His later works have further developed his theories on the nature of creativity.
Sir Ken suggests there are many misconceptions about creativity and whether it can be taught. He argues that everyone has the potential to be creative and that creativity can be developed in a practical way, though critics have noted that he does not provide many concrete examples of how creativity can be taught.
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