Monday, July 20, 2009

Creative Workplace I: How Did We Fail?

Whereas Richard Florida's statistical observations in Rise of the Creative Class are not necessarily the best (for reasons that people far more qualified than me have gone into), his qualitative analysis of the workplace is fairly on-the-nose. It is, however, an ideal view of the creative class' workspace, and not always the accurate case.

Teachers, I think, can be placed rather squarely in the realm of the the creative class. The creative class, Florida observed, is marked by high job mobility. Instead, it seems like teachers are organized in the manufacturing class model: unionized, entrenched (by tenure), etc. The concept of state-wide curriculums and standardized testing, as well, seems to be an attempt to take the creativity out of the hands of the teacher, and standardize the system of education.

Perhaps this is the success of the charter schools and private schools: they are more likely to create a creative class environment for children. In fact, it may be that the creative class is better served by being taught in a creative class environment simply because it is a creative class environment, and the students will be modeling the place they will have to work for the rest of their lives.

The same applies to arts institutions and arts education. We need to take a look, because in some regards it feels to me like many people in the creative field are not working in that environment. And this may be why some of these institutions fail.

Just a thought.