Friday, October 15, 2010

Changing Education Paradigms

Another thought-provoking talk by Sir Ken Robinson reanimated.

Gives us lots to think about what we could do in our schools too.

Here's a quote from it:

"We are getting our children through education by anaesthetising them. We should be doing exactly the opposite. We should be waking them up to what is inside of themselves...."

I believe we can do this. It's all up to us.

But I'll let you watch first. So just go on, and click here.

To see the talk in full, about 55 mins, click here. Well-worth watching. It really resonates with what the situation here is. Give it a thought.


  1. I had seen the short version version, but hadn't realised that the long version was there too. Thanks very much for this - it's fascinating stuff!


  2. It is fascinating indeed, Ken. It made me think about a lot of issues, which I posted as a list of questions as part of the #PLENK2010 course I'm trying to take part in.

    Here are my questions I copied out from that forum on education transformation:

    "What stops systems, governments or whatever the decision-making bodies are to start to listen and at least try out in smaller scale at first whether these ideas, whispers that have by now become roars, would work or not.
    Why not try? Why do people in charge think that things are OK as they are?
    Why are the reluctant to face change?
    Why don't people dare step out of their comfort zone and try out something new? The experience of trying it, no matter whether it is with a successful outcome or not, teaches us more than we would imagine...I would be very interested in what questions people would raise after watching this interview from 1988." (The latter one referred to the interview with Isaac Asimov.

    To this is I got a reply from Vahid Masrour, pointing out some interesting things. I'll have to give it another thought myself before I reply to it myself, but I'll copy his insightful response too.

    So Vahid says, "I think that change hasn't happened first and foremost because the benefits of universal education are just awesome, and no society that really wants to develop can deny those benefits.

    However, in achieving the goal of universal education, a model was built around the concept of massification and standardization (both videos discuss and illustrate this point very well). The resulting model became the norm, and even the most libertarian societies have a tough time becoming aware of when norms become traditions, meaningless or fruitless as they may be.

    Dealing with a norm means you can't really change much. You may become an heterodox, but few societies have the required patience or flexibility to deal with extraneous beliefs.

    Lastly, there's an interest group that is benefiting directly from the current norm: the teachers. Curiously enough as a group, they may not behave as an society changer. They'll adduce institutional and external reasons for behaving the way they are, but change makers, as a whole, they are not. Of course, this is a key group that has to be worked with to obtain societal changes, but it may take a generation or two to get results. Meanwhile, those of us that want to make a change should work on it, on a human scale."

    What would you think about this, Ken?

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