5. How Schools Crush Creativity and Critical Thinking


May 22nd, 2022

1 hr 6 mins 59 secs

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About this Episode

The Essential School Sucks, #5 of 50

Theme One: The Real Problems With Public School

Dr. Peter Gray was a research professor of psychology at Boston College, and author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life. Peter serves on the Organizing team for the Alliance of Self-Directed-Education. He also runs a blog on Psychology Today called Freedom to Learn, where he regularly explains and promotes self-directed education from a variety of angles.

Today Peter and I discuss creativity and critical thinking - two skills we agree are left underdeveloped (or even damaged) by public school and college.

On critical thinking, Peter has referenced studies and surveys that reveal about 50% of employers are dissatisfied with entry-level, college graduate employees (PayScale Inc.) and that college does little to improve higher level thinking (Academically Adrift: Limited Learning On College Campuses - 2011).

On creativity, Peter wrote a piece called As Children’s Freedom Has Declined, So Has Their Creativity. Peter informs us that there are actually quantitative studies, including the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, that show a marked decline in children's creative capacity since the 1980s. We discuss the causes of this decline in detail.
We finish with a friendly disagreement (then agreement) on the educational merits of video games.

In part one we discussed the biological foundations of self-education. LISTEN HERE
In part three we'll talk about Peter's vision for self-directed education in the future. LISTEN HERE

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Originally Released February 13, 2018 As "[PODCAST #543] Peter Gray (Part Two) – School’s Impact On Creativity and Critical Thinking"

Support School Sucks: Higher Education For Self-Liberation