If ever there was a demonstration of the value of enabling people to be free to express themselves creatively, it was in Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony for the Olympics.
Frank Cottrell Boyce has written an excellent piece in the Observer, eloquently showing how this wonderful spectacle came together, largely because Boyle enabled people to wonder and use their imagination unhindered.
“Danny created a room where no one was afraid to speak, no one had to stick to their own specialism, no one was afraid of sounding stupid or talking out of turn. He restored us to the people we were before we made career choices – to when we were just wondering.”
This is precisely what every teacher should be doing; creating a room where no one is afraid to speak, no one has to stick to their own specialism, etcetera.
Whether you liked the entire proceedings on Friday evening is almost irrelevant. Personal taste is precisely that and in a world of glorious imagination your imagination can’t possibly be identical to another person’s imagination – though of course there can be synergy.
And it is this synergy of individual creativity and imagination that produces the sort of thoughtful stories and imagery that we witnessed on Friday night.
We quoted Frank Cottrell Boyce in a blog about the “Pleasure of Learning” in March.
“I think pleasure is a form of attention. If you can take pleasure in something – an idea, an activity – then your brain will happily entertain it for years without aim or objective. It’s therefore a particularly open form of thinking that allows you to surprise yourself and the rest of humanity.”
Humanity embraced this pleasure and creativity this week. This is something that we should learn from immediately. Wouldn’t it be the most perfect legacy of the Olympics and that opening ceremony if every school could embrace the idea of “Danny’s Room” where every child knew they had the liberty to speak freely, collaborate effectively and drive their passion through their work and vice versa?
The largely positive response to the event just demonstrates what we at 3Di have always believed; that spiritual brilliance arises from people coming together, thinking intelligently and embracing a passion in what they and others do. This is not an accident. The people grinning, crying with a mixture of feelings and laughing with one another is an absolute demonstration of the power of creativity to unite humanity.
We need this in our classrooms, not just in Britain but across the entire world.
There are plenty of Danny Boyles out there who may possibly be stymied at present but need to break free. Good teachers already enable this to happen. Great teachers will combine together and use this appreciation of creativity for a lasting legacy for our young people.