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Ken Robinson – How to Escape Education’s Death Valley

When I got here, I was told various things like, “Americans don’t get irony.” … But I knew that Americans get irony when I came across the legislation, “No Child Left Behind.” Because whoever thought of that title gets irony, don’t they! Because it’s leaving millions of children behind. Now I can see that’s not a very attractive name for legislation: “Millions of Children Left Behind.”

Gonna end this first day of blogging with an amazing video of Ken Robinson, an author and international advisor on education. His TED talk is my FAVORITE out of the TED Talks Education series. Above is just an excerpt from the beginning of his hilarious but enlightening talk, but it’s definitely worth 20 minutes of your life. Trust me.

To sum it up, Ken names 3 things that are essential to the flourishing of human life, and then points out 3 things that the current education system does to stifle those natural human tendencies:

  1. Diversity vs. Conformity
  2. Curiosity vs. Testing
  3. Creativity vs. Standardization

Please check it out! His talk is very refreshing, full of humor, aha! moments, and quotable quotes that leave you smiling and nodding your head furiously in agreement.

One thing in particular appreciate about Ken’s talk is that he really touches upon essentially “human” things. He brings up anecdotes and scenarios that are truly relatable to anyone, whether you care about education or not, because they highlight things that are a part of the human condition. Anyone can agree that is natural for us to be different and diverse, that it’s natural for us to be curious and to have imaginations, that it’s natural for us to be creative with our paths in life. It’s basically common sense at this point: why doesn’t our education system nurture those naturally human aspects of ourselves? 

Why does it instead discourage celebration of diversity, stifle a child’s flame of curiosity, restrict the mind’s natural tendency to be creative?

As my philosophy teacher once told me, “we must first learn to ask better questions before we can reach any good answers.”

More to come on these questions. But here’s some food for thought!

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2 Comments

  1. […] Attention will be given to all of the above and more, but first, I wanted to share some thoughts about my post last night. […]

  2. […] NEEDS to be considered. Yes, I agree with Sir Ken Robinson; teachers are the lifeblood of a classroom, of education. Teachers have magic powers, and they can […]

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