10-minute Writing: Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the Learning Revolution!

Yet another TED video, and yet another Sir Ken Robinson TED video! Hurrah!
This time, we are supposed to relate his “Bring on the learning revolution!” video to us and to our Honors English class. Hum…

This video took on a more serious tone than the first video of his that we watched. He was calling for reform of the education system, but not just reforming the old broken system: creating a whole new education system to help customize learning for all the different kinds of people that populate the world.

Customize education. What does this mean? Does the teacher have to speak to each child in turn, and give each child a different curriculum? Will there even be a curriculum any more? Will there even need to be a school system, or does homeschooling work better? (As a former homeschooled child, I’m sort of biased towards homeschooling. At times it was frustrating, but in truth, I loved it.)

So how does this idea of customizing education fit with this class? As you can probably tell if you’ve been reading any of the assignments for class on my blog, we’re doing quite a diverse set of assignments. In the Explorations project, we are allowed to choose our assignment based on a set of options and guidelines. Is this customized, because we choose what our four assignments will be, or is it still more “traditional” education, because we can choose only from the Explorations in that book? In our Murder project, we get to show our personalities. But in a traditional classroom, even writing a 5-paragraph essay, a bit of your personality can show through. So is showing personality customization, or something that happens no matter the circumstances?

I’m inclined to believe that this English class is very dynamic, organic, and customizable for the 15 of us students that are taking the class. I’m sure my teacher will be pleased by my saying that. But this class is so much like when I was homeschooled, I feel comfortable, at home, in familiar territory, and like I can express myself quite a lot within the loose and flexible guidelines that my teacher has set. It is indeed quite a wonderful class.

10-Minute Writing: Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

Yes, another TED video! I truly do love TED: it’s so beautifully informative, and the speakers are so engaging!!! I highly recommend all the TED videos I’ve seen. But that’s beside the point. The TED video I have just been assigned to write about is called “Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity.” He’s right.

One of the things that struck me the most about this video is the fact that I’d heard so many of his points before! My mom has oft repeated that schools undervalue and try to quell creativity. I’ve also heard several times that there are several different kinds of intelligence, not just “book smarts”. An interesting point that Sir Robinson brought up that I hadn’t heard before is that schools are basically just creating more university professors, and not enough actors, artists, musicians, and dancers.

Another very informative point that I’d never considered before is that every education system around the world has the same hierarchy of subjects. Mathematics and languages are at the top, the humanities in the middle, and the arts at the bottom. He also said that there is a sub-hierarchy inside the arts: art and music are valued and taught more highly and more often than theater and dance. Children who are natural dancers are often kinesthetic learners, so they learn by moving, and so are now often diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, when in reality if they were taught in a dance school where moving around during learning was encouraged and dance was taught every day, they would be excellent.

One phrase that I will remember and try to use often is that if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never do anything creative. It is very true. If you are scared to play a piece wrong the first time, how will you ever become proficient at an instrument? If you are afraid of not drawing a face perfectly the first time, how will you ever become an artist?

I believe everyone should watch this video, if only to think about how you thought about education previously. He has some very profound ideas that will make you think very deeply, and he’s not harsh about it. All his ideas are couched in some of the best British droll humor I’ve ever heard. Go watch. 😀