Ken Robinson starts off this video Changing Education Paradigms by describing education and the process of how it has changed throughout the centuries. He states that everyone, everywhere is trying to reform the public education system. Education is either economic, trying to teach kids in a way that they will find their way in the economy of the 21st century, or education is cultural; education that gives children a sense of cultural identity while encouraging the process of globalization. The problem is that we are trying to meet our future goals while doing exactly what was done in the past. This process alienates children who don’t see the purpose in school. This is becoming more common since it isn’t really necessary to have a college degree to get a good job anymore. Robinson says that the problem with the public education systems is that they are still designed for a different age of time. We need to raise the standards. Children are classified as “smart” or “not smart” based on their academic ability and this causes many brilliant people to believe they are not smart. Mr. Robinson then goes on to explain the chaos of the fictitious epidemic of ADHD. It is the modern plague he states. However, it is not really an epidemic. He states that children are too routinely medicated for ADHD. These children live in the most stimulating century, and they are being punished for their interest in the modern technology such as cell phones, computers, tv, etc, because it is distracting them for the boring aspect of school. The ADHD “epidemic” has been growing parallel with the importance on standardized testing. Robinson also states that it is shown that the further east you go through the country, the more the children are medicated to stay focused. The main victims of this epidemic are the students of the arts. Art requires aesthetic thinking, when the senses peak, but education is becoming more anaesthetic. This shuts off the sense and deadens the self to what is happening. Education is still modeled on the interests of industrialization. The schools are organized factory lines; ringing bells, separate facilities, and divided subjects. They are also dividing the kids into batches based on age. Robinson makes a great point, who is to say that age is the best way to divide these children? What about how the perform based on time of day, small groups or large groups, individually. Education is conformed to standardization, and we need to be going the opposite direction. This is what Robinson means by changing paradigm. The last thing he talks about is divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is essential to creativity. Children learn to see many different answers to the questions, and a lot of different ways to interpret the question. Divergent thinking teaches children to not think laterally. When kindergarteners were tested on their divergent thinking ability, 98% of them tested in the genus level. This number drops as children get older, thanks to the standardized way of teaching and testing. Children are taught their whole school lives that there is one answer to a question, it’s in the back of the book, but it is not okay to look at it, copy it, or talk about it. This is cheating in school. Outside of school, this would be known as collaboration. This is the direction we need to be taking our classrooms. As Robinson lastly states… “Most great learning happens in groups.”
In Mr. Robinson’s video he explains how students are not being allowed to be creative anymore. Students should have the opportunity to express themselves in the classroom without being ridiculed for failing at what they tried. He also says that creatively in education is as important as it is in literacy. Education is what will lead our children into this uncertain future that we sometimes are unable to grasp. In the video Ken says that “No one has a clue where education will take us in the next 5 years,” which is very true. However, being able to use our creativity can enhance the places we are trying to go. Mr. Robinson believes that kids will take a chance in whatever they do without being afraid of the outcome. Society is causing our students to lose their ability to be creative by placing so much emphasis on how well they succeed at attempting to be creative or do things correctly. One of Ken’s famous quotes is “I believe this passionately that we don’t grow into creativity; we grow out of it.” He firmly believes that students are born with creativity. Ken wants our society to live by Picaso’s quote which states that “All children are born as artist; the problem is to remain an artist when you grow up.” Ken also said something that I found very interesting. He said, if you’re not prepared to be wrong you’ll never come up with anything original. Students lose their excitement for being adventurous and when they reach the adult stage because they are scared to be wrong. Watch Ken Robinson explain How Schools Kill Creativity
After watching Ted Talk by Sir Ken Robinson, I learned that as a future educator that I should be concerned with educating the whole being of the students. The only way for this to be done is to control the climate of our classrooms by engaging the student’s curiosity, individuality and creativity. We should not just sit back and work off of the commands of conformity and predicated academic ability. According to Sir Ken Robinson, Death Valley was a hot and dry place where nothing grew until the climate was controlled. He also said that Death Valley was dormant until someone took the time to cultivate it. I think that Sir Ken was trying to tell us that in order for our students to flourish in all areas of their lives that we as educators need to give them the necessary tools to stimulate their whole being. Sir Ken also demanded us to stop leading students to believe that it is wrong to make a mistake and to instead help them to become original and prepared to make mistakes. The thought intended here is that learning takes place once the mistake is corrected.