Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blog Post #12

quote by Sir Ken Robinson. If you are not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original
“What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?” -Dr. Strange

Sir Ken Robinson is an English author, speaker, and international advisor on education in the arts to government, education, and arts bodies. He was Director of The Arts in Schools Project, in 1985–1989, a Professor of Arts Education at the University of Warwick from 1989 to 2001, and was knighted in 2003 for his services to education. Robinson’s specializes in education, creativity, and innovation and frequently speaks at conferences about those topics.

The Importance of Creativity- Caitlin Lankford
In the video The Importance of Creativity, filmed in 2006, Sir Ken Robinson speaks at a conference about why creativity is important. Robinson made some strong and effective points about creativity. He started his speech by saying that children starting Kindergarten, would be retiring in 2065. Robinson then asks a stunning question: what will the world look like? He said we do not know what the world will look like in 2065. Better yet, we don’t know what five years from now looks like, yet we are supposed to be teaching and preparing students for the future. Robinson said, if you are not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original, and most kids loose that “creativity” when they grow up, because they are afraid of being wrong. We live in a world where our national education systems are saying that mistakes are the worst things we can make; as a result, teachers are educating people out of their creativity! Robinson goes on to say that every education system around the world has the same hierarchy of subjects: math and language arts, humanities, and then arts. Under the arts subject, there is another hierarchy where music and art come first, then drama and dance. There is NO grade school that teaches dance the way they teach math, because mathematics and language arts are used for workforce. There are so many things we can learn from Robinson, but three main things he covered in his speech were using creativity wisely, see the capacity of creativity for what it is, and seeing children for the hope that they are. We cannot take creativity out of the learning process, because we will lose our creativity and start being afraid of being wrong. “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” -Pablo Picasso

Changing Education Paradigms- Lauren Macon
In the video, Changing Education Paradigms Changing education paradigms Ken Robinson says that, “Every country on earth, at the moment, is reforming public education.” The first reason is economic, people trying to work out the question, 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 look like at the end of next week. The second reason is cultural, trying to educate our children so they have a sense of cultural identity. He challenges the way we’re educating our children. He speaks about the way he would change education. I agree with him! The current system of education was designed for a different age. He then talks about ADHD, he says it is not an epidemic. They are being distracted from “boring stuff.” They are taking drugs to get them focused. We should be waking the students up to what the have inside of themselves. But, we are doing the exact opposite and medicating them. I could not agree more. Changing education means no more standardized test. This reminds me of the burp back education. We should do away with standardized test because that was designed for a different age. Children do not think the same way they did years ago. Everything else has changed, but not education. New school systems should cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple intelligences.

How to Escape Education’s Death Valley- Melissa Canterbury
Sir Ken Robinson begins his speech, How to Escape Educaion’s Death Valley, with an important statement about the drop out crisis and the studetns it includes. One major crisis in the education system is the dropout rate. In American society there is a 60% rate and in the Native American society, an 80% drop out rate. However, the dropout crisis does not include all the students who are in school but are disengaged in learning, don’t enjoy it and who are not getting any real benefit from it. The problem with this is not that Americans aren’t spending enough money or making initiatives to improve education. We spend more money on education than any other country. The problem is that education is going in the wrong direction. Sir Ken Robinson maps out the 3 principles that are crucial for the human mind to flourish but are contradicted by the current culture of education.
The first is that human beings are naturally diverse. “Education under No Child Left Behind, is not based on diversity but conformity.” -Sir Ken Robinson. Students are being evaluated on what they can do across a very narrow spectrum. One issue with No Child Left Behind, is that educators are forced to focus on the standards such as Science and Math. According to Sir Ken Robinson, these standards are necessary, but they are not sufficient. Education should be equally weighed throughout Arts, Physical Education, and Humanities as well. Robinson is quite humorous throughout his videos and especially when he mentions ADHD and that children are not suffering from a physiological condition, they are suffering from childhood. You can not assign a student worksheets and “busy work” and expect them not to get fidgety and bored. Students prosper by a broad curriculum that encourages their various talents and engages them in the learning process.
The second principle is curiosity. Students will learn better on their own if the teachers spark this principle. Children are natural learners. I LOVE what Sir Ken Robinson says about teachers and their role in the school. He says that teaching is not a “delivery system”. Teachers are not here to simply deliver information to students so as Dr. Strange would say, “burp it back”. “Teachers are the lifeblood of the success of schools” -Sir Ken Robinson. Yes, great teachers deliver received information. They also engage, mentor, stimulate and provoke students. He also makes a very good point about testing. Testing is important, standardized tests have a purpose. However, tests should not be the dominant culture of learning. Tests should be diagnostic and used to help evaluate students but not the only form of evaluation.
The third principle is creativity. “Human life is inherently creative.” -Sir Ken Robinson. One role in education is to awaken the imagination and creativity in students. Our culture in education is standardized however, but it doesn’t have to be. According to Sir Ken Robinson, Finland regularly comes out on top in subjects such as Math, Reading, and Science but they have a broader curriculum and focus on Humanities and Arts as well. Finland’s education system doesn’t focus on standardized test either. Robinson also mentions that Finland doesn’t have a drop rate. At a conference recently. a representative from Finland asked why drop out? They immediately help students with their issues and support them.
“What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?” -Dr. Strange. Education will be successful once the education system adopts individualized teaching and learning, recognizes that it is the student who is learning, and engages the students curiosity, individuality, and creativity. This is how we will get our students to learn.


  1. Do you have any ideas about how you will foster creativity in your classroom?

  2. Creativity should stay in the learning process. It allows students to become the individual they are meant to be. Children should not be afraid to be different because everyone is different in their own way. I agree with his three major points because creativity should be treasured in children. Good Job!

  3. Kaitlin,

    Very good post and reflections on Sir Robinson's ideas.