Ted Talks for Teachers: Sir Ken Robinson
Are we creating a culture that celebrates our differences and diversities? Do we acknowledge the human spark of curiosity as the engine to achievement? With candor and intellect, Sir Ken Robinson contemplates our current educational system of conformity where individuality and creativity are the exceptions rather than the rule. A focus on the STEM subjects and standardized testing has created an environment where, ironically, millions of children are left behind. As the drop-out crisis grows, Robinson asserts that many of our efforts are going in the wrong direction and that a real education gives equal weight to the arts, humanities and physical education. Kids prosper with a broad curriculum that awakens and speaks to their various talents and skills. More schools are starting to engage students with a culture that sparks learning, but these schools are the alternative rather than the norm. With common characteristics of individualized learning, strong support for teachers, community ties and extra-curricular programs, these schools emphasize an educational system that is human not mechanical. Ultimately, Robinson states we need to recognize and embrace the conditions under which humans thrive. He emphasizes that the real role of leadership in education is not to command and control. The real role of leadership involves climate control, which means schools are given the responsibility and support to take education to the next level, and everyone involved is able to engage in the process. As education moves forward, Sir Ken Robinson doesn’t see a desert. Instead, he sees a dormant landscape filled with potential just waiting for the right conditions to grow and thrive.