Book Review: Out of Our Minds

Book Review: Out of Our Minds

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I listened to this audio book because I was intrigued by the two videos I include at the bottom of this post.  My basic review of this book is to watch those and skip the book, which was lots to wade through, unnecessarily  complete with a systematic review of technology, history and business.  Alternatively, you could skip right to the last cd for the best bits.

The thesis of the book is that we need to find more ways to be creative in school, business and life.  Maybe I just didn’t need seven cds with 24 long tracks each to convince me of this fact; I was with him in this premise at the offset, which is why I wanted to read the book.

As a homeschooling mother of a creative high schooler, I wanted to hear how creativity can be fostered. So when he finally got to the big revelatory point  – personalized, customized, individualized education is the answer – I didn’t know whether to guffaw or groan as I had already figured that out too and am doing it!  This is a big breakthrough worthy of international accolades?

There were interesting bits in this book. For example, he talks about award winning musicians that are deaf. But my favorite part was when he discussed an option in the UK of going to professional dance school instead of prison. (Lets see… prison or dance? Wouldn’t you choose dance?) Would-be convicts are quickly rehabilitated through the rigor, discipline, awareness, and fitness required to get through such a program, and it is apparently wildly successful in turning lives around.  What if these convicts had been offered dance all along?

At the end of the book, instead of actually explaining how to encourage creativity, he gives examples of out-of-the-box programs that are trying to. I’ll list them here with links so you can check them out:

School of One (individualized customization in a school setting)

Big Picture Learning (personalized education in school)

Blue Man Group starts an elementary school called the Blue School

Room 13 Studios (Elementary kids run an art studio like a business)

These links are very cool and encouraging, but not enough take-away from this book.  I’d like to read a book on this subject written by a creative thinker instead of a linear one!  I give this book only three stars.

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I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.

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