Was the current system of education designed for a different age?

One of the important questions Sir Ken Robinson answers in this must-watch video on Changing Education Paradigms.

Sir Ken Robinson suggests that children have been 'anaesthetised' to get through schooling, and instead we should be waking them up to discover what is inside of themselves. If this is the case then, the question is: at what stage do children learn what is inside themselves under the current education norms?

He also mentions that we need to go in the exact opposite direction of standardisation - I do agree, however struggle with how this plays out in practice. Is this why more and more people are turning towards homeschooling? Are schools currently stifling the critical - or divergent, as Sir Ken Robinson calls it - thinking abilities of children? It would be great to hear your thoughts.

Quick note: The video constantly refers to education, however I think that Sir Ken Robinson is talking about schooling. For more on the difference between schooling and education, take a look at this previous post

1 comment:

  1. Ged on LinkedIn1 August 2012 at 11:52

    Beautiful video,

    Having passed through 17 years in the real world, between university and teaching, I would like to add a couple of observations. Ken is spot-on with the, old-school, academic approach still being written through the core. Things are changing and it will take time, many teachers have grown up through this way of doing things and the examination system is tied into it. Step changes are unwise and will disrupt. In many respects the old ways are, in fact, sound. Universities choose students on their (individual) academic ability, at the age they apply, on the very reasonable grounds of the basic requirement of the skills and knowledge required to complete the course.

    In the real world I found that people had got to where they are by many different routes. I often found that key senior personnel did not take the standard academic path. Those that did were often locked into a standard academic-style role, and generally happy in it. I find that students appreciate and buy-in to the 'academic route' at different times in their life, for many reasons. Those that delay often pick up other useful skills which may give them the edge in the real world. Another interesting observation is the focus and methodology of different cultures to learning. Some students, though hardworking, will focus on the academic detail to the detriment of useful peripheral opportunities. I find that UK students tend to be more diverse, as Ken would have it, sometimes too much, we should tap in to this.

    Yes, education needs to adapt. I feel that there are two pillars, as Ken would have it. Firstly, "Care", teachers should care about their subject (and extra-curricular contributions), and hence enthuse, and also care for their customers, and hence seek to understand and be flexible (league tables do not help). Secondly, "Balance", with so many diverse activities, and distractions, we need to develop an appreciation of what may matter most both individually and for the community, and seek to develop flexible and confident students with many facets.

    Once again, great video, thanks