Creative Curriculum Matters

July 08 2016

Two days in a creative bubble in Sheffield. Yes, the CMC. Children's Media Conference, for the rest of the world not in that whizz-bang influential and critical bit of your child’s development, is where lots of brilliant, funny and clever people come together to look at what the next thing your child plays with, reads, or watches might be.
So, that’s all good then?


Scattered in amongst the media industry people are a few teachers, and a few other people looking at what they can learn from this industry. The conference offers up fascinating insights and data about the little people in our lives… and the teenage ones too.

So, yesterday, sitting in a somewhat less than crowded auditorium, I listened to some views on the Creative Curriculum, lost or not? We heard about activities from a very relevant panel including Justin Cooke, Josh Davidson, Matt Howarth and Chris Mould on how they are working with schools on the importance of the creative side of life and the arts. Great stuff! Really important! Good job!

Actually though, this is bigger, this stuff is totally critical to all of us right now.

We have not really got any natural resources now - except the resource of our population. The population has the power in collaboration and knowledge to develop and most importantly CREATE opportunities and industries we have not even thought of yet.

This is why the creative curriculum matters more than just to the creative industry.

We need creative engineers, we need creative designers, we need creative people able to explain - in engaging forms - the ideas of the very clever people who might understand the other stuff! As well as that, we need creative people to create engaging forms of art to cheer everyone else up or make them think differently!

We need creativity to be crossing the boundaries of Science and Technology and not be blinkered or single minded in our approaches that those things are more valuable.

We need to expose everyone to a wider world of creativity, to encourage diversity and an appetite for trying something new.

Algorithms are shaping our lives today with more and more of the same, when we like something we see more like it, we need to open up more resources for children and young people to see more, and different, possibilities for their aspirations, talents and creativity, in whatever way that manifests in them.

So next year at the CMC, please can we all think about what we are doing to keep not only that industry going, but also to unlock the creative world as a route way into millions of other opportunities for young people?

I wanted to ask in the room if those people were all involved in education now; I think most of them were.
It was another Echo Chamber - we all patted each other on the back sure in our hearts it was the right thing to do.

That’s where we need to make a difference, we need to be educating and inspiring creativity outside the school day too. And not just aiming that education and information at children…

We actually need to use the skills we have at our disposal as creative leaders to inspire others, to inspire teachers, to inspire parents that creativity is a good thing - it’s what employers want and what we all need - and we must ensure creativity doesn’t fall lower on the pecking order than other subjects.

We can show parents what their children might want to do more of, unlock the mystery of the new world economies for them, show them what industries are actually doing today and how their kids fit into it, and make it inspiring. Their future success really is likely to be dependent on their ability to take change on the chin and find a way around problems with other people.

So, can we start showing everyone how to do things like that now?

If not, there might not be a CMC in a few years time!