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March 13th, 2013 by Samantha Bishop

Creative Collaboration: Changing Academic Paradigms

This video, Changing Academic Paradigms, culminates many perceived problems within the education system in the United States, and is a call to action to collectively make changes to these outdated, stagnant methods of teaching and replace them with something more tailored to our intricate differences and similarities as human beings. Ken Robinson’s presentation on TEDTalks calls attention to the ADHD ‘epidemic,’ or over diagnosis, and the deeply-rooted problems within our schooling system—a system based in the Industrial Revolution which has undergone only minimal changes since then. Robinson highlights the immeasurable developments that have occurred in society over time, and questions how passing through a system set in a different time and place can be meant to prepare students for our modern world.

Ken Robinson’s presentation calls for revolutionary changes in our education system, and these changes need to be foundational, and creative. Robinson sees the future of education to be in collaboration, not atomization. A fluidity in understanding between subjects and across curriculum needs to be fostered, teaching instead how interconnected the world is rather than separating people, subjects, and interactive learning into  quantifiable, measurable numbers. The diversity of all of our minds and backgrounds must be displayed proudly rather than trying to staunch any difference or deviance from this outdated ‘norm.’ This video teaches me something new with every watch, but the best part about it was that it was shown to me by the president of Clark University, David Angel. At the beginning of this semester I went to President Angel’s office hours to talk to him about REVERB, and he not only embraced the idea, but immediately began giving me examples, ideas, and new trajectories for my team and I to consider integrating into our growing understanding of REVERB and all that this event could be for the Clark community.

When the idea of REVERB was new last semester and we began working on making it a reality, we spent a lot of time talking about how we didn’t want this event to feel as if it was just a pale comparison of any of the any of the other various events which celebrate creative expression here at Clark. We wanted every element of creativity to be exhibited in some way or another—whether through reading poetry or thoughts, singing a song, displaying paintings or presenting a project which your favorite class led you to research. From academic to personal, habitual to inexperienced, we hoped that this event would draw creativity of all kinds. We didn’t want this to just be a celebration of the creative climate at Clark, we hoped this event would make a difference in the perceptions and thoughts of the participants, the attendees, and ourselves about what it truly means to creatively collaborate with no other end in mind other than creating positive REVERBerations, now and in the future. This was our ideal, and in more ways than we could have imagined at the time, Clark has more than provided us with that ideal in applicants and response to REVERB, which the climate, people, and ideas here at Clark have created.

For the creativity exhibited at REVERB to have reverberating affects that last long after April 5th, we knew that we had to make it clear to all potential applicants and attendees that if you found the idea of a shared day centered around creativity, then we were interested in talking to you. From what we learned last semester, we knew that true creativity blossoms in interactive, open environments with people of similar interests or new awareness’s of potential creativity on our horizons. Just as Ken Robinson spoke of in Changing Academic Paradigms, creativity and collaboration are the routes to take for change in positive and uncharted directions in our own learning environment here at Clark.

If you want to become involved in REVERB’s progress, or just want some questions answered, please ‘like’ us on Facebook and send us a message. We would really love to hear from you!

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