“Where nursed by pure love, grow the fairest flowers,” wrote France Prešeren, Slovenia’s national poet, a romantic figure whose work inspired generations of European artists. It wasn’t just his musical language, but what it stood for: fighting against oppression, expressing the universal longing for freedom. In the great tradition of Shelley and Keats, Prešeren was a humanitarian as much a poet. And his education began at home, with his mother.
Big Think sat down with Danilo Türk, the former president of Slovenia, and discussed his big idea: creativity should be at the center of education. In Slovenia, Türk says that, thanks to parents, a cultural education begins in early childhood, with a focus on music. “The overall effect of this is that we have pretty good generation of young musicians in Slovenia,” he says, “and that has to do with something which is really very difficult to measure.”
Even the greatest advancements in technology can’t replace the need for fostering creativity. Children will never fit neatly into any type of data-driven boxes. As modernity continues to make life more complicated, and our challenges seemingly compacted, then creativity will always be required to invent new solutions and new ways of seeing the world.
Türk stresses that the European model of education is based on a centuries-old “top down model.” Having lived in the United States, he credits schools in New York with promoting optimism, critical thinking, and creativity which all encourage freedom of expression.
“That educational tradition I find quite beneficial, something that we in Europe have to learn from,” he says, “and perhaps [Europe needs to] develop creativity by using the techniques of education which put creative elements more at the center.”
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Torn between absolutism on the left and the right, classical liberalism—with its core values of compassion and incremental progress whereby the once-radical becomes the mainstream—is in need of a good defense. And Adam Gopnik is its lawyer.
- Liberalism as "radical pragmatism"
- Intersectionality and civic discourse
- How "a thousand small sanities" tackled drunk driving, normalized gay marriage, and could control gun violence
Irish president believes students need philosophy.
- President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins calls for students to be thought of as more than tools made to be useful.
- Higgins believes that philosophy and history should be a basic requirement forming a core education.
- The Irish Young Philosopher Awards is one such event that is celebrating this discipline among the youth.
The lost practice of face-to-face communication has made the world a more extreme place.
- The world was saner when we spoke face-to-face, argues John Cameron Mitchell. Not looking someone in the eye when you talk to them raises the potential for miscommunication and conflict.
- Social media has been an incredible force for activism and human rights, but it's also negatively affected our relationship with the media. We are now bombarded 24/7 with news that either drives us to anger or apathy.
- Sitting behind a screen makes polarization worse, and polarization is fertile ground for conspiracy theories and fascism, which Cameron describes as irrationally blaming someone else for your problems.
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