Alchemical Thoughts

Sir Ken Robinson on Changing Education–Ideas I found intriguing

Posted on: June 14, 2010

I came across the TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson on changing education, and it seemed very appropriate to me. I just finished reading Nancy Folbre's Saving State U.: Why We Must Fix Public Higher Education, and some of the things in the lecture seemed to go along with what I read. He does mention that not everyone should be going to college, or maybe they should go, but not at that time but later. I have thought about that at times, how the United States has a compulsive obsession that everyone should go to college. Listen to Robinson speak about the young person who wanted to be a fireman.

Some ideas from the talk:

  • Human communities depend on a diversity of talent, not on a singular conception of ability.
  • A 3-year-old is not half of a 6-year-old. College DOES NOT start at kindergarten. Kindergarten starts at kindergarten.
  • The problem: education built on a fast food model, and we as a society have come to accept it and the soul crushing that goes with it. Personally this is something that makes me despair about the education endeavor. I have a daughter who is gifted as an artist, and I know the current education system will pretty much do its best effort to crush that. It won't happen as long as we keep encouraging and supporting her at home as well as supplementing what happens in school, but it is a battle. And not all children have supportive parents.
  • Often people are really good at things that they do not care for. That is a deep concept there even as it sounds simple. It is one that forces some reflection.
  • Why do so many opt out of education? It is because education does not feed their spirit, their energy, and/or their passion.
  • We need to go from an industrial model (what we have now) to a more agricultural model. Agricultural in the sense that it is organic. A farmer lays out the soil and conditions for plants to flourish, and this is how education should work. Human flourishing is organic. 

A hat tip to Libraries and Transliteracy blog.

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