The Price of Process

I’m a huge fan of Ken Robinson. He writes about the education system and the way it kills creativity (see his book “The Element”) I have some involvement in this system and my current concern is how process kills passion.

Let me explain. Educational subjects tend to be designed and delivered to highlight the processes that are involved in the area of study. Students are taught the various models and academic theories (most of them decades old) and then asked to memorise these for recall at a later stage. Assignments tend to be very focused on process rather than passion for the subject. Students tend to be driven by fear. Fear around getting the process “wrong” or missing a piece of the process or not understanding the process.

With all this going on, there is very little room for passion to develop. Passion either gets lost or never has a chance to grow amongst the models and theories and process.

I actually enjoy a workable process – I find it necessary to make whatever it is I am doing work. I am also very careful not to let the process become bigger than it needs to be.

It’s worth stopping, taking a breath and looking up every so often so you can keep the big picture in sight. Without knowing where you are going, how will you get there? How will you enjoy the ride? How will your passion develop or grow?

Are you so bogged down in process that you have lost your passion? If you answer “yes” then please, look up…


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Leith
    Mar 15, 2010 @ 14:16:01

    OK now I'm following! People respond to incentives and if there are rewards for passion over process people will be passionate. That's the real challenge in my experience – creating incentives in workplaces and in places of study that reward passion and activism. There's a good reason why so much change comes from outsiders and not from institutions – because institutions almost always reward process and people who play by the rules. And change is so often made by people who don't play by the rules. Go Judy! Break all the rules!


  2. 1handclapping
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 00:02:30

    I'd add that it depends on the discipline you are educating in. For example, in social work, passion and activism ARE the process. We encourage students to develop critical thinking skills so that they move beyond simply summarising the work of those that have come before them to developing their own ideas. As an educator, this means that we can foster passion as a central component of learning. Creative self-discovery through critical exploration is what social work education is all about. Lyndal


  3. Lilian
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 11:06:38

    Beautifully expressed as always Judy. I am putting 'creativity' at the top of my list next to fun! I'll be reading 'The Anti Resume Revolution' with relish!


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