I just watched Sir Ken Robinson's TED Talk called "How Schools Kill Creativity". I could not agree more with his premise - traditional schooling normss out much of our creativity in favor of conformity. Our values as a society are reflected in our public schools and those values seem to be attention to task and conformity.
While attention to task is important, if the task is not worthwhile to the person performing that task, then what good is it? So often, trying to get kids to learn in a traditional setting is like beating our heads against a wall. Those settings do not honor the talents and abilities of the kids. In schools where students' talents and abilities are honored, those same students perform well within their own creativity/talent spectrum.
The traditional school model may show some kids to be a failure at school but those same kids may turn out to be huge successes once they are removed from the school environment. We must do a better job at helping kids discover their talents, nurturing their creativity, and personalizing their learning to develop their strengths. Once schools do these things, our student population will be much more successful.
Here is the TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson