Compliance vs Initiative…

When she was a young child,  my daughter was once asked to leave a pottery class.  This was because when the teacher insisted every child make the same object, she usually had her own ideas for what she wanted to create.  Expelled from an art class for non compliance.  For creativity…

This is the entire post from Seth Godin’s blog, the other day..

“Compliance is simple to measure, simple to test for and simple to teach. Punish non-compliance, reward obedience and repeat.

Initiative is very difficult to teach to 28 students in a quiet classroom. It’s difficult to brag about in a school board meeting. And it’s a huge pain in the neck to do reliably.

Schools like teaching compliance. They’re pretty good at it.

To top it off, until recently the customers of a school or training program (the companies that hire workers) were buying compliance by the bushel. Initiative was a red flag, not an asset.

Of course, now that’s all changed. The economy has rewritten the rules, and smart organizations seek out intelligent problem solvers. Everything is different now. Except the part about how much easier it is to teach compliance.”

Food for thought.  As a teacher, do you teach compliance? Punish non-compliance? Reward obedience?  Do you value initiative? Creativity? Problem solving?  Even if it comes with non-compliance?  Do you think schools have changed with the times?  Is compliance still valued above initiative in some classrooms?

7 thoughts on “Compliance vs Initiative…

  1. Kicked out of art class for creativity! I can’t believe it…the art teacher couldn’t have truly been an artist. The sad truth is that most schools are still looking for compliance and squelching all signs of creativity and deviance. We want one answer and that is the only answer we will accept.
    I refuse to run my class this way. I want students to wow me with their creativity. I think that students are often confused by this. They have been told for so long that there is one right answer that they don’t know what to do with me when I tell them that there is no right answer that I am looking for. How sad!


  2. I don’t think it’s just schools that value compliance. I think governments find it easier to have a compliant population too.

    Creativity? I don’t think of myself as being very creative, but I love that fact that a post of yours reminded me about Toon Doo and I have been able to create there. Came by to say thanks!


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