Much has been, is and will be talked about Education and the need for a proper revolution that rekindles the flame of the learning spirit in our students. But few pieces summarise such a need better than Sir Ken Robinson's talks. His 2006 Ted Talk about how schools kill creativity has been constantly featured during this past decade encouraging all of us not to squander our talents but to:
- be prepared to be wrong as a way to explore new ways, new solutions, new methods;
- nurture the inner artist we are born with so it's still alive when we grow up;
- remember intelligence is dynamic and original ideas come through interaction;
- use the gift of imagination wisely by understanding our creative capacities enrich us; and
- educate our children holistically to ensure they continue being our hope for the future.
In his follow-up talk in 2010, the well-known educator shows us the way to let the natural talents of our children flourish:
- personalise learning
- let children find their passion
- challenge what is taken for granted
He begins quoting Abraham Lincoln, proving how history tends to repeat itself (novel solutions were needed in the past and so are they needed nowadays) while at the same time pointing out that new times call for new trains of thought and new actions:
Next, he arguments how, contrary to what we are constantly led to believe, life is not a linear process but organic. As a result, schools should not force us to go through a linear system but allow us to explore our talents and find our passion. Only being passionate about what we do can we enjoy it instead of simply enduring it as if it were a punishment.
In several of his talks, and this one is no exception, Sir Ken Robinson stresses the importance of nurturing the diversity of talents each of us have. Surprisingly, educative systems all around the globe emphasise the importance of STEM in the first place and Humanities in the second place. But what happens about the creative arts? They are also part of those inborn talents we have to develop to enrich our world and we should make sure our children can explore and develop them.
Finally, he brings attention to the importance of allowing children to be, enjoy and act their age. Quoting the words of a friend, he states an obvious truth that seems to be forgotten nowadays in our highly-competitive world: "A three year-old is not half a six year-old". We should be attentive to what they tell us, not only with their words but with their actions and, as Sir Robinson says, tread softly so we make sure their dreams keep alive and help them become who they really are (not clones of an outdated and industrial educative system)
If you have already seen this talk, I invite you to listen to it again. And if you haven't, what are you waiting for? (If you need the transcript visit TED's site)
(TED, May 2010)
Other talks by Sir Ken Robinson:
- How schools kill creativity (TED, June 2006)
- Changing education paradigms (TED, December 2010)
- How to escape education's death valley (TED, May 2013)
- Can Creativity be Taught? (Youtube, 2014)