I had a chance to see Ken Robinson speak at the AERO conference in Portland, Oregon a few years ago. He talked for nearly two hours. And it was fantastic. Here’s a picture of me looking like Ken’s talk was fantastic.
And I read his book Out of Our Minds which I think was equally fantastic.
A Summary of Ken Robinson’s Out of Our Minds
Education has three distinct roles: personal, cultural and economic.
1) Personal: to cultivate a students unique talents and creativity
2) Cultural: helping students develop an understanding of the world around them as well as the rich culture that students are born into.
3) Economic: we are training students in ways to earn a living and be able to sustain themselves economically.
Currently, education is focused on the second of these three roles. And it needs to change.
We are living through times of revolution. With the advent of technology, especially computers and the Internet, human beings are living through times of such utter change not ever in the scope of history before witnessed.
Such times require that we educate ourselves (and our children) differently. The current trouble with education is that we spend too much time looking at pure academic achievement, which is such a narrow band of human intelligence, that we ignore or, even worse, put down other expressions of intelligence.
Such a stance brings about the Academic Illusion or thinking that intelligence is somehow confined to being able to excel on an IQ test or the SAT. The thinking behind the No Child Left Behind act gives rise to similar thinking.
The antidote, and fortunately there is an antidote, is that human beings are incredibly creative and have a multitude of other avenues for fostering that creativity. And we now so much about creativity and how to cultivate it, that it’s possible to create programs that nurture and sustain it.