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Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,678 Ratings  ·  276 Reviews
quot;This really is a remarkable book. It does for human resources what Rachel Carson #146;s Silent Spring did for the environment. It makes you wonder why we insist on sustaining an education system that is narrow, partial, entirely inappropriate for the 21st century and deeply destructiv
Paperback, 225 pages
Published June 15th 2001 by John Wiley & Sons (first published January 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

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Mar 02, 2013 Vivian rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Dec 22, 2012 Jayme rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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 ...more
Nov 08, 2009 Nick rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Apr 04, 2013 Dominic rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teaching
I give 5 stars to Sir Ken Robinson's talks @ the TED conference and this animated talk on "Changing Educational Paradigms":

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
Oct 04, 2008 Liz rated it it was ok
Recommended to Liz by: Laurie Thompson
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.
Loy Machedo
Dec 21, 2012 Loy Machedo rated it really liked it
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
Sarah Shahid
إن الاقتصاد حالياً يعاني من فجوة بين العرض والطلب على العقول المبدعة حيث أن هناك طلباً متزايداً يفوق العرض

وتزايد الطلب حصل كنتيجة لما يسمية الكاتب "ثورة اقتصادية" حيث يمر الاقتصاد وسوق العمل في القرن الواحد والعشرين بتغيرات كبيرة تفوق التصور تشبه الثور الصناعية بحجمها وتأثيرها وتعتمد أيضاً على التقدم التقني كمحرك أساسي، الأمر الذي يتطلب عقولاً مبدعة لتوظفها في سوق العمل

ولزيادة العرض من هذه العقول تقترح معظم السياسات رفع مستوى التعليم الأمر الذي زاد المشكلة سوءاً، إذ أن الحل يقتضي بضرورة تغيير س
brian dean
Aug 10, 2010 brian dean rated it liked it
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
Apr 11, 2012 Prashant rated it really liked it
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
May 07, 2013 John rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
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 ...more
Nov 05, 2009 Michael rated it liked it
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
Apr 15, 2013 Joe rated it liked it
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 ...more
Feb 16, 2010 Kristian rated it really liked it
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
Rachel Terry
Apr 15, 2011 Rachel Terry rated it it was ok
Shelves: psych
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 ...more
Maha Abed
Apr 20, 2014 Maha Abed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An engrossing read, finished it in 48 hours. A much needed book for educational institutions everywhere. There is a real need to rethink our educational climate and about how we can do things differently by approaching education with creativity. It's time for a second Enlightenment.
Stas Sajin
Jan 19, 2013 Stas Sajin rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Erik Akre
Apr 06, 2016 Erik Akre rated it liked it
Recommends it for: any innovative or would-be-innovative educator or leader
Shelves: education, artmaking
Robinson makes me think of my painting hobby... the idea that creativity is so much a process-oriented skill, or just a process in itself... It begins in the imagination and develops as a result of the interaction between experimentation ("generative" activity) and evaluative activity. The back-and-forth between these two activities gradually builds a painting, with the constant input of the imagination. It's a thrilling and fulfilling process, and not far out of reach for any human. Generalize ...more
Jared Della Rocca
Ken Robinson explains something that any student of Bennington College has understood for the last 75+ years - creativity does not exist in a vacuum. While we have understandably shifted our educational system to focus on STEM, we do so without any balance towards the creative arts. As Ken Robinson puts it, we tell our students don’t focus on art, since you won’t make a living as an artist, but we don’t tell our students don’t focus on math because you won’t become a mathematician. It’s only thr ...more
Jul 26, 2015 Ietrio rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody
Shelves: junk
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 ...more
Edward Tse
Jan 03, 2015 Edward Tse rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
From the moment I heard Sir Ken Robinson's now famous Ted Talk I became a fan, so my review of Out of Our Minds is a bit biased. What Sir Ken does really, really well in Ted Talks and presentations, he does here in print. With a healthy does of humor mixed with poignant obvservations and specific experiences, he encourages readers (or listeners in my case, via Tantor audio) to reimagine the purpose and possibilities for education. I would have liked a few more facts and research study data to ...more
Aug 19, 2011 Joseph rated it did not like it
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
Dec 26, 2008 Stacey rated it really liked it
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.
Annemieke Windt
May 29, 2014 Annemieke Windt rated it really liked it
A couple of years ago I read the Element by Ken Robinson and I thoroughly enjoyed reading his book and the thinking he got me started on. Out of Our Minds I actively promoted to my colleagues at the school I work.

In Out of Our Minds Robinson reinforces his argument that education should promote students to explore, learn and use the method of learning that suits them most. And education in the Arts is one of the major things that can help our students learn and grow, and figure out where their h
Snazzie Lama
Jan 27, 2016 Snazzie Lama rated it it was amazing
Being a teacher myself it is clear to see that schools and the mainstream education system mostly favour a those who best fit within the formalized structures of those institutions. For those that sit outside of the standardized learning model, school and education can become a bleak and boring routine. Whilst teachers try the best they can with what they have got they are stuck in the system that now controls most of their freedoms to deal with individual learning styles. We are taught how to d ...more
Mar 19, 2015 Ted rated it liked it
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.
Paulo Glez Ogando
Oct 08, 2014 Paulo Glez Ogando rated it it was ok
Shelves: educación
As so many of you, I liked Ken Robinson's TED talks. Nevertheless, in form of a book, or at least this very book, it doesn't prove his point. It's a flaw I see in many educational theorists, a lot of generalities and no concrete proposals, or a handful of them in best of cases.

Robinson gives several examples of creative people. Known, famous people, I mean. But most of them reached that creativity within the system and culture he says that doesn't encourage personal creativity. It's a bit of a c
Seiya Okawara
I couldn't agree more to his idea that education should be reorganized to develop the creativity of children, as was shown with a lot of enterprises and schemes. But i still doubt the way he sees the today's and future world, which totally relies on innovation and technology and the belief that with creativity we can develop more and more.
Nov 16, 2013 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could listen to Ken Robinson talk for days. I'm a huge fan. While most of what is written in this book is something I'd heard in one of his TED talks, I really enjoyed reading about his ideas in more detail. I think Robinson's ideas, especially as they relate to education, are illuminating and exciting.
Oct 06, 2014 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ken Robinson's book was not what I expected, and that's not a good thing. Despite the fact that "learning to be creative" is in the title, Robinson does not attempt to teach readers how to be creative. Instead, he talks in length about the importance of creativity and the failure of our schools. Filling the pages with stories from others and from his personal past, Robinson finds a way to write a whole book about creativity without addressing how one can actually become creative.

I also found th
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Sir Ken Robinson (born Liverpool 4 March 1950) is an internationally recognized leader in the development of innovation and human resources. He has worked with national governments in Europe and Asia, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, national and state education systems, non-profit corporations and some of the world’s leading cultural organizations. They include the Royal Shakes ...more
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“If all you had was academic ability, you wouldn't have been able to get out of bed this morning. In fact, there wouldn't have been a bad to get out of. No one could have made one. You could have written about possibility of one, but not have constructed it.” 24 likes
“I asked a professor of nanotechnology what they use to measure the unthinkable small distances of nanospace? He said it was the nanometre. This didn't help me very much. A nanometre is a billionth of a metre. I understood the idea but couldn't visualise what it meant. I said, "What is it roughly?" He thought for a moment and said, "A nanometre is roughly the distance that a man's beard grows in one second". I had never thought about what beards do in a second but they must do something. It takes them all day to grow about a milllimetre. They don't leap out of your face at eight o'clock in the morning. Beards are slow, languid things and our language reflects this. We do not say "as quick as a beard" or "as fast as a bristle". We now have a way of grasping of how slow they are - about a nanometre a second.” 20 likes
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