"LEARNING FROM SIR KEN ROBINSON" by: Katlyn Lusker, Tarcela Kohn, and Jake Dukes
"Changing Education Paradigms"
There were so many things to learn from the video Changing Education Paradigms by Sir Ken Robinson. A few things we learned from Sir Ken Robinson were; “Every country on earth at the moment is reforming public education,” “The current system was designed and conceived for a different age,” “Kids now are living in the most stimulating period in the history of the earth and we because of this we need to make some changes,” and “We need to go in the opposite direction of school conformity and standardization.”
The first thing we learned from Sir Ken Robinson was “Every country on earth at the moment is reforming public education.” The two reasons for this are economic and cultural. This video asks the questions, “How do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century?” and “How exactly do we do that when we cannot anticipate what the economy will look like at the end of next week?” We think these are two very important questions to ask ourselves, especially knowing how the economy has been going lately. We aren't guaranteed anything, so these questions are valid. Sir Ken Robinson put it best when he said, “One big problem we are facing is that we are trying to meet the future with doing what we have done in the past.” People who went to school a long time ago were told that if you work hard, do well, and get a college degree, you would get a job. Kids now a days do not believe that, and they have every right not to. Sir Ken Robinson said, “You are better off having a degree, but it does not guarantee you a job anymore.”
The second thing we learned from Sir Ken Robinson, which is a continuation of our last point, was “The current system was designed and conceived for a different age.” Sir Ken Robinson explained this by saying, “Public Education, paid for from taxation, compulsory to everybody, and free at the point of delivery, was a revolutionary idea.” He also said many people group other people into two categories based on “Academic Ability.” He said those categories are the “academic or smart people” and the “non-academic or non-smart people.” This creates a problem because many brilliant people think they are not because they have been judged on this particular view of the mind. Public Education being made up of economic and intellectual categories has caused chaos in many peoples lives. Some have benefited from it, but most people have not.
The third thing we learned from Sir Ken Robinson was “Kids now, are living in the most stimulating period in the history of the earth and we because of this we need to make some changes.” Kids have so many distractions “from every platform” now that include computers, phones, advertising, and television. We agree with Sir Ken Robinson when he said, “Children get to school and their teachers expect them to focus on ‘boring stuff’ for the most part.” We agree with this because we have witnessed this happen and we can testify to this ourselves. In this video Sir Ken Robinson continued by giving his views on ADHD and how lots of drugs to treat ADHD shut kids senses off, deadening them to what’s really happening. He said, “We are getting our children through education by anaesthetising them, but we should be doing the exact opposite.” We need to wake our children up to what is happening inside of themselves.
The fourth thing we learned from Sir Ken Robinson was “We need to go in the opposite direction of school conformity and standardization.” Children have basically always been put through school in “batches” according to their age, but is that really what’s important? Is that really what we want our students to think is the main thing they have in common with other students? One of the most impacting things we thought Sir Ken Robinson said was, “If you are interested in the model of Education, then you don’t start from the product line mentality.” Sir Ken Robinson believes we need to go in the opposite direction of school conformity and standardization, and that’s exactly what he meant by “Changing the Paradigm.” In order to make this change we must first, think differently about human capacity and get over the old conception of academic, non-academic because all it is is a myth and secondly, we have to recognize that greatest learning happens in groups, collaborations is the stuff of growth.
“How to Escape Education’s Death Valley”
In the TED Talks video; How to Escape Education’s Death Valley by Sir Ken Robinson, there was a lot of information that we found useful. Sir Ken Robinson started his video by saying that the No Child Left Behind is an irony, because approximately 60 percent of kids drop out of high school, and in the native community about 80 percent of the kids drop out. We were unaware that when a student drops out of school, it cost an enormous amount to clean up the damage. With this dropout crisis, it does not factor in the students that are disengaged, that don't enjoy school, and the students who do not benefit from school. Sir Ken Robinson stated “that this is the reason our education is going in the wrong direction.”
Sir Ken Robinson explained that there “were three principles on which human life flourishes, and work hand in hand by culture of education under most teachers have labor and most students to endure.” The first of the three principles that Sir Robinson explained that we learned was that all humans are different and diverse. Sir Robinson made a great analogy, he asked the audience members if they had kids, grandkids, or have seen kids. He then goes on to ask the parents of two or more children and makes a bet with the audience members that the children are different from each other. There is no way of confusing them with each other. “Education under the No Child Left Behind is based on not diversity but conformity.” One of the effects of the No Child Left Behind has been to narrow the focus on the STEM disciplines. Sir Ken Robinson said that the STEM discipline was very important; however, a real education has to give equal weight to the arts, humanities, physical education, and to the kids.
Lastly, we learned that teachers are the lifeblood of schools, but teaching is a creative profession. Sir Robinson stated that “to teach properly; it is not the delivery system that you just pass on received information. However, great teachers do pass on received information, but they are mentors who stimulate, provoke, and engage. We have also learned from Sir Ken Robinson that the role of a teacher is to facilitate learning, and that is it.
"How Schools Kill Creativity"
In the TED talks video How Schools Kill Creativity by Sir Ken Robinson, we learned a lot about creativity. Sir Ken Robinson began by saying, “creativity now is actually just as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” He explains that as kids we are more creative because we are not scared to be wrong. As we grow up we are more likely to be less creative because we are frightened of being wrong. Sir Ken Robinson also said, “we are now running national education systems where mistakes are the worse thing you can make.” This results in educating people out of their creative capacities. One specific thing we really liked in this video was when Sir Ken Robinson quoted Pablo Picasso saying, “All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” Creativity is a good thing because it separates us from the rest of the people in our classes, making us unique. Sir Ken Robinson concluded his speech in this video by saying, “We need to see our creative capacities for the richness they are, and see our children for the hope that they are.” Our task as teachers should be to educate their whole being so they can face the future, and to help them make something of it.