School Kills Creativity?

Today was my first day in school, I enrolled to Macomb Community College last minute to take advantage of their media arts program. The school is one of a few that actually offers a huge selection of both photography and design courses at a community college level, and with my financial aid I decided why not expand my abilities.

Initially though my opinion on school was a bit negative, partially because of my addiction to documentaries and TED Talks. One of the more popular talks was Ken Robinson's, it's entitled "Do schools kill creativity?". I added the video below for those of you who have yet to view it.

Kids will take a chance. If they don’t know, they’ll have a go. They’re not frightened of being wrong. Now, I don’t mean to say that being wrong is the same thing as being creative. What we do know is, if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. If you’re not prepared to be wrong. And by the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong. And we run our companies like this, by the way. We stigmatize mistakes. And we’re now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make. And the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities. Picasso once said this. He said that all children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up. I believe this passionately, that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out if it.
— Ken Robinson

In the video Ken went on to say the above statement, to a certain extent I agree with the majority of his argument, but I also thought is was demoralizing for those who already attend courses in their desired path.

Currently I'm taking the beginner photographer classes, the film class may actually make me a better photographer, but the digital class is pretty pointless at my skill level. I'm not saying I'm a fantastic shooter, but I did enough research to know the basics of photography. In the digital course my professor does have a few opinions that I feel he shouldn't speak about, due to them being biased. He constantly lets us know what settings he uses, and how other settings like aperture priority are the dumbest thing ever put on a camera... This is a personal opinion, and I think he should let everyone be entitled to theirs as well. Other than that the class is pretty free for all, it's nothing like I expected. I didn't feel hindered as a shooter, or I didn't feel like my professor was telling me that HIS style was the only way to shoot. He informed us that we will all develop our own style, and that we would all be telling different stories, and that that was fine.

I write this because I just want to let people know that being a self-taught photographer isn' the only way into this business. I know saying that makes you feel superior but if you're being honest with yourself watching Youtube tutorials, joining forums and constantly checking websites like this one is a forum of education, going to school just gives you a little more hands on experience. In my opinion it may even be better, sometimes I lose inspiration, but homework assignments and being around more creative people who take the class should further keep my spirits high moving forward. 

Moving forward I'll be sharing my weekly assignments from the digital class, I'm not to sure how film works yet, but if I can upload it then I'll share that as well. Expect them to be here the corresponding Monday after class. Maybe you all can see the curriculum and decide if you think photography school is for you or not.