Sir Ken Robinson

Degrees aren’t worth anything – You think?

I love listening to inspirational speakers. They imbue such a feeling of warmth and endless possibilities that I just want to run with or shout out there ideas. I remember listening to an inspirational speaker, Sir John Jones. His plea was very similar to Sir Ken Robinson’s (see below) – a review of our perceptions about education, creativity and how we learn.

One anecdote made me swallow back tears. He talked about how we can be trained into conditions, like flees. Flees can jump extraordinarily high considering their mass. But if you trap one in a cup and put a lid on it, it will eventually learn to jump to the height of the cup. And if you take away the lid it will still only jump as high as the cup – so never jumping out.

Admittedly, that’s not the part that made me tearful.

It was when he went on to describe an associate who had, as a child, loved singing. Sang all the time. But at some point in her Primary school life, the music teacher was listening to children for the school choir and had them all singing a song. She was to walk along the line, listening to them individually, and if she put her hand on the child’s head they were to mime. It makes my blood boil just to write this. Well, as you can imagine, the child in question was praying not to be touched. And sure enough, as the teacher approached, she touched her head. That spark of desire disappeared. She never sang again. Even to herself. She had been trained to jump only as high as the cup. Only to mime. Disturbing isn’t it, what we (i.e. teachers, trainers, adults) do for the accepted norm? And how thoughtless that norm is.

We need to see our selves without the lid. To learn to see the world and what we can do in it with new eyes. When that veil is taken away, my god it’s exciting.

Intelligence is dynamic, creative and reacts to different ways of seeing things.

We need to radically review our view of intelligence.

We’ve all been crippled or educated out of creativity. In this, frankly amazing and inspiring talk, Sir Ken Robinson discusses why we need to re-evaluate our approach to education. Creativity as important as Literacy? Shocking!

Schools Kill Creativity (link to the TED site)

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