Friday, November 8, 2013

Blog Post # 12

What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?
By:Shanda Thornton
Sir Ken Robinson starts the video by talking about two reasons that most countries are reforming public education. The first reason he talks about is economics. His driving question was, “How do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century given that we can’t anticipate what the economy will be like at the end of next week? His second question was concerning culture. He asked, “How do we educate our children so they have a sense of cultural identity, while being a part of the process of globalization, so we can pass on cultural genes of our community ?” Sir Ken Robinson then goes on to explain problems with the reforming of public education. He says that they are trying to meet the future by doing what they did in the past. The current system of education was designed and conceived and structured for a different age in time. It was conceived in the days of the enlightenment and in the economic circumstances of the industrial revolution. Before the revolution, there were no public school systems, you could get educated if you had money to pay the Jesuits to educate you. With this new system, Public education would be paid for by taxation, and it would be available to everyone free at the point of delivery. People objected to this revolutionary idea saying it wasn’t possible for street kids to benefit from it, they’re incapable of learning to read and write so why are we spending time on this. This also causes alienation of many kids that do not see the purpose in going to school. He told us that when he went to school, they kept them there with a story. Something along the lines of Do good in school, work hard, do well in college, get a college degree and you will get a job. Our children don’t believe that, and they have a right to because there is no longer a guarantee. In today’s world you can graduate high school and get a good paying job without a college degree. It may not be a dream job, but it is good paying and that is what most people are looking for in these days. Education does not guarantee a job anymore. I really enjoyed when Sir Ken Robinson started talking about ADHD in schools. When he first gets to the subject of ADHD, he shows a map of the prescriptions for ADHD medications. This has turned into a modern epidemic. He isn’t trying to say there is no such thing as ADHD, he is saying it is not an epidemic. Our children are living in the most intensely stimulation period in the history of earth. They are over powered with information. Students are given computers, iPhones, other electronic devices, and even shown advertising and then they are penalized for being distracted from other boring things, like the teacher. Robinson says that he thinks for the most part the emphasis on ADHD has risen with the growing of standardized test. The medication these children are routinely given puts these kids to sleep. He addresses aesthetic experience which is when senses are operating at their peak anesthetic shuts your senses off and deadens the body to what is happening. We are getting our kids through education by anaesthetizing them. This is what these “drugs” called ADHD medication is doing to our kids. Sir Ken Robinson thinks we should be doing the opposite! We should be waking them up to what is inside of them! He believes the system of education is modeled on the interest of industrialization. Schools are organized on factory lines, ringing bells, separate facilities, specialized into separate subjects. We still educate students in batches. We put them in the system by age. He asks, “What is important about the assumption that the only important thing these kids have in common is their age?” Is this the most important thing? He states that if you are interested in the model of education, you don’t start from the production line mentality. It is essentially about conforming and about standardization. We have to go the opposite way. We need to use Divergent thinking. This is not the same thing as creativity. It is an essential capacity to creativity. It is the ability to think of a lot of possible answers to one single question. We all have this capacity but as we get older it mostly deteriorates. In the gene pool of education we have to think about human capacity and get over the old conception. We should recognize that much greater learning happens in groups. Collaboration is the “stuffing” of growth, if we separate them and judge them separately and form a disjunction of them and their natural learning environment. Crucially he says, it is about culture of our institution habits of institutions and the habitats that they occupy.
 By: Victoria Williams

Wow! That is the word that comes to my mind when I heard Sir Ken Robinson’s speech on education. What an amazing thought he has on No Thought Left behind and on what education is really about. When I was in grade school I always felt as if I was going through the motions. I would memorize information for test and then forget the information as soon as the test was over. I have had a hard time adjusting in the college setting because I have had never had to think outside of memorizing information. I think that we can learn from Sir Ken Robinson that to be a great teacher the teacher has to do more than just deliver information to the class. As teachers we should educate students on things that can be used outside the classroom instead of the essential facts. If educators stop treating education as if it is a mechanical system and more like it is a human system then maybe we wouldn’t need alternative education. There are three types of people in this world, there are people that are movable, people who are unmovable and people who move. The people who move are the people who make things happen and if we have more people who move than we will have an educational revolution. If educators can understand this than education will stop being dormant and bloom like Death Valley.
By. Chastity Westry
Sir Ken Robinson believes that creativity in education, today, is more important than literacy. One important idea that I learned from Mr. Robinson is that if you’re never prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original. By the time children become adults, most of them have lost this capacity because they are frightened of being wrong. Today, in the 21st Century, we are running educations systems where mistakes are the worst thing a person can make. Therefore, we are educating students out of their creativity capacities. Mr. Robinson also believes that we do not grow into creativity, that we grow out of it. The education system is predicated on academic ability. The hierarchy of education is based on two ideas. The first one is the most useful subjects are at the top, this probably steered you away from subject areas in school that you actually liked and found interesting. The second idea is academic ability, which is dominating our view of intelligence. We need to change our view of intelligence. Highly educated and talented individuals do not believe they are these things because their interests weren’t valued in school. We know three things about intelligence. First, intelligence is diverse. We think visually, in movement, and abstract terms. Second, intelligence is dynamic. The third thing about intelligence is that it is distinct. Sir Ken Robinson believes that our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology. One in which we enrich our perception on human capacity. The way education systems are set up today will not serve us in the future. We need to rethink the fundamental principles in which we are educating our children. To conclude, we need to change our views of education and not steer students away from their interests but encourage them.

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