Out of our Minds: Learning to be Creative and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

Used - Acceptable | See details
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading Out of our Minds: Learning to be Creative on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative [Paperback]

Ken Robinson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $18.99  
Paperback --  
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.
There is a newer edition of this item:
Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative 4.3 out of 5 stars (127)
In Stock.

Book Description

March 15, 2001
'Ken Robinson writes brilliantly about the different ways in which creativity is undervalued and ignored in Western culture and especially in our educational systems.' JOHN CLEESE

'Out of Our Minds explains why being creative in today's world is a vital necessity. This is a book not to be missed. Read and rejoice.' KEN BLANCHARD

'If ever there was a time when creativity was necessary for the survival and growth of any organization, it is now. This book, more than any other I know, provides important insights on how leaders can evoke and sustain those creative juices.' WARREN BENNIS

Editorial Reviews


"I shall add Ken Robinson's absorbing account of creativity to my personal list of gems. I was sorry to reach the end of the text, as it had maintained its momentum throughout. The reading may finish, but the thinking goes on, just as you would expect from a book on this intriguing subject." (Times Educational Supplement, 11th May 2001)

"This is a thoughtful book .... A truly mind-opening analysis of why we don't get the best of people in a time of punishing change." (The Director, June 2001)

"This well-written book focuses on the widening gulf between academic institution teachings and the feelings, emotions and imagination that drive us as humans." (Arts Professional, 4th June 2001)

"I recommend that you read the book, take part in the debate and become part of the new paradigm" (People Management, 12th July 2001)

"this book will stimulate and challenge" (Professional Manager, September 2001)

"...a rattling, informal read, sparkling with ideas, jokes, anecdotes and ideas.." (Music Teacher, December 2001)

From the Inside Flap

Out of Our Minds There is a paradox. Throughout the world, companies and organisations are trying to compete in a world of economic and technological change that is moving faster than ever. They urgently need people who are creative, innovative and flexible. Too often they can’t find them. Why is this? What’s the real problem — and what should be done about it? Out of Our Minds answers three vital questions for all organisations that have a serious strategic interest in creativity and innovation.
  • Why is it essential to promote creativity? Governments, companies and organisations are concerned as never before with promoting creativity and innovation. Why is this so essential? What’s the price of failure?
  • Why is it necessary to develop creativity? Why do so many adults think they’re not creative (and not very intelligent)? Most children are buzzing with ideas. What happens to them as they grow up?
  • What is involved in promoting creativity? Is everyone creative or just a select few? Can creativity be developed? If so, how? What are the benefits of success?
In Out of our Minds, Ken Robinson argues that organisations are trying to fix a downstream problem that originates in schools and universities. Most people leave education with no idea what their real abilities are. He says what all organisations, including those in education, can do immediately to recover people’s creative talents. Robinson also argues for radical changes in how we think about intelligence and human resources and in how we educate people to meet the extraordinary challenges of living and working in the 21st century.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Capstone; 1 edition (March 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841121258
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841121253
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
204 of 218 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Keep it short, Sir Ken November 28, 2006
After reading the book, I had a hard time remembering why I had thought it would be great, so I looked again at Sir Ken Robinson's recent and popular lecture at [search "Sir Ken Robinson on TED Talks"]. Now I remember -- he's an entertaining speaker, with some pretty good points about the genius of children and how we school it out of them. But the book, well, it's subtitled "Learning to Be Creative" but that really only comes in the last chapter, and his recommendations seem very conservative. He spends much too much time before that--building up his case--and that case is watered down by being second-hand. If you want to know about what schooling is doing and why, read Ivan Illich's Deschooling Society. If you're really interested in the physiological basis of non-academic intelligence, read Goleman's Emotional Intelligence (which Sir Ken quotes, but better the original). In short, the book, though it's just 200 pages, is simply too long.

I did find one memorable point: that many people miss the chance for creativity because they're not trying in the field that's natural to them. The idea that, in order to be creative, find your medium, whether it be in the "traditional" arts such as painting or dance, or in any other occupation. Whatever is closest to your heart.
Was this review helpful to you?
55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intellectually Challenging & Humorous June 19, 2001
There are certain books that manage to be authoritative, entertaining and thought-provoking and are also well-written and richly exemplified. Few authors are able to fashion this attractive mixture. Alvin Toffler and Charles Handy can craft it, and in education, David Hargreaves has the knack. I shall add Ken Robinson's absorbing account of creativity to my personal list of gems.
Creativity is one of those topics that excites some and enrages others. In the wrong hands it can be twee, syrupy, smug, territorial, giving the impression that you have to belong to a special club, with its own argot and conventions. For Ken Robinson it is none of these, but rather a universal talent that people have, often without realising it. Society in general, and education in particular, can squash the imagination and rock children's self-confidence.
What I like about this book is the breadth of its scope ... and the fascinating little stories that illustrate the points being made, tales from history, social and economic background factors, test items, incidents from school life. The book is peppered with these vividly recounted vignettes about thinking and learning, or lack of it ... Many of the illustrations and anecdotes are personal to the author, about people he has met inside and outside the university world, organisations he knows, stories he has been told.
Robinson's line of argument is carefully constructed through the seven chapters ... Because imagination and invention do not progress in straight lines, or along predictable routes, whole organisations must create and sustain a culture that promotes creativity, rather than stifles it.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant October 30, 2001
Sometimes a writer has an uncanny kknack of sharply focusing something which up until then you had not seen in all its simplicity and brilliance. This book does that but at the next moment it makes connections never before imagained. Even the most obstinately prosaic and safe thinkers will be tempted out of their box by Ken Robinson's ideas, theories and speculations. What's more, he writes as he speaks, in a way that, magnetically and compulsively, is simply irresistible.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What education really needs November 4, 2006
By M. Lang
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While Robinson perhaps uses more words than necessary to make his point, I found this book refreshing because it gets to the heart of the failures in our education system that few others seem to see. The focus of education reform today is on testing to verify that all students learn certain basic facts, e.g. no child left behind. There is some merit to the new attention paid to accountability for outcomes. However, as Robinson clearly points out, the real issue is that we are not helping our students to understand and leverage their own unique talents, and we are not preparing them to deal collaboratively with a world where there are few black and white answers. Until we as a society properly identify the problem, any solutions that emerge are guaranteed to fall short--no matter how well intentioned. I found the book to be short on guidance about solutions and approaches that can address the core issues, but at least it gets the problem in front of anyone who reads it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Out of Our Minds is clear and very well written. It provides a wonderful overview of the thinking behind the development of the English approach to education, its philosophical underpinnings and shortcomings for our current world. Fascinating for those interested in the histroy of thought behind the education system. However, if, like me, you are looking for techniques to develop your creativity - this book will not fulfill this desire. It's recommendations are geared toward those behind the design and implementation of education programs.
Was this review helpful to you?
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Below Expectations November 25, 2007
I bought this book having seen Sir Ken's brilliant and unforgettable talk from the 2006 TED conference. Unfortunately, his coherence and wit do not convey in the printed version.

There are a handful of points from the book that will stick with me. One reviewer has already mentioned one, that many of us go forward in our lives working in the wrong medium. He tells of a talented concert pianist who realized in mid-stream of a successful career that she had no passion for it, and became an editor. Another idea that was new to me is that subject areas in the education system are in large measure a management tool rather than an objective description of human knowledge. If there are only ten categories, then many of our arts will suffer from sub-category status. Drama? Oh, that goes under English. Or how about dance? Let's throw it in with the rest of physical education. These simplifying reductions are harmful to deeper understanding.

This book is hurt by terrible editing. I care more about ideas than spelling and grammar, but the former are obscured without attention to the latter. I can't tell you how many times Robinson's train of thought is derailed by missing articles, conjunctions, and adverbs. By the time I had read the sentence enough times to put it back together, I had lost the thrust of the argument.

If you haven't seen Sir Ken's TED talk, you must seek it out. His message is as important to our society at the turn of the 21st century as any you'll hear, and his abilities as a speaker are awe inspiring. I would love to be able to recommend his book, but it doesn't really hold together.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and insightful, specially for parents of artists in the...
Out of the box and refreshing. A must read if you are having ttrouble with what your kids would like to study versus what you think they should follow as a career. Read more
Published 9 months ago by John Neary Anker
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reading
I've really enjoyed reading this book and I would've given it 5 stars, but I didn't like the old statistics which in fact were the latest data available when this book was written. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Bogdan Buciuman
5.0 out of 5 stars keys to understanding education crisis
Sir Ken Robinson has a grasp of the current education crisis that is rare and clearly explained. Rather than seek the typical reform or ramping up of the education system, he calls... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this AND the updated edition even if you're NOT...
Sir Ken is spot on in his analysis and suggestions for education. An absolute "must read" for anybody who is concerned about what direction education and learning must go.
Published 22 months ago by J. M. Jaco
2.0 out of 5 stars SNORE!
Like some other reviewers, I had high hopes for this book after seeing Robinson's TED talk on creativity and schools. Read more
Published on April 3, 2012 by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of our minds
Robinson reveals issues that heretofore were never considered regarding learning. Institutionalized "instruction" has, over past decades, been just that:"Institutionalized" with... Read more
Published on November 18, 2011 by M. D. Stanley
2.0 out of 5 stars Wordy
Didn't like it. I could hardly get through the first chapter. It's not nearly as accessible as 'The Element'. (Which is an amazing must-read of Robinson's work. Read more
Published on May 23, 2011 by Maynz
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary
Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative is a brilliant piece, and should be read by all educators and anyone involved in shaping trends in education.
Published on March 26, 2011 by MarilynP
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good book
This is a really good book that introduces the problem of creativity in education - or lack of it - as well as the basics of being creative.
Published on February 6, 2011 by Phil
5.0 out of 5 stars My first buy in Amazon
A friend of mine sent me a link to watch a Ken Robinson's performance in TED conference on how creativity is being killed in schools. Read more
Published on December 31, 2010
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Ken Robinson is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources. He has worked with national governments in Europe and Asia, international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, national and state education systems, non-profit organizations and some of the world's leading cultural organizations. He was knighted in 2003 for his contribution to education and the arts.

To learn more about Sir Ken Robinson, visit his website at:



Topic From this Discussion
out of our minds Be the first to reply
Have something you'd like to share about this product?
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for Similar Items by Category