Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ken Robinson ... TED Part II

Ken Robinson returned to TED earlier this year and talked about the intersection of talents, passion and education.
[May 2010 - TED] In this poignant, funny follow-up to his fabled 2006 talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning -- creating conditions where kids' natural talents can flourish. More

As he did in his first TED talk about creativity and education, he sums up in less than 18 minutes key ideas that seem so obvious, yet are so far from the practices we employ in schools and society. Some of Ken's insights from his 2010 talk:
  • There is a crisis of human resources -- we make poor use of our talents.
  • Many people simply endure what they do rather than enjoy what they do.
  • But some people do what they ARE and engage part of their authentic selves.
  • Education dislocates people from their natural talents.
  • We have to create the circumstances where talents show themselves. Education should be where this happens, but too often it's not.
  • Education REFORM is not enough -- reform is only improving a broken model.
  • We need not an evolution in education, but a revolution ... to transform it into something else.
  • It needs innovation, which is hard because it challenges what we take for granted.
  • Quoting Abraham Lincoln, Ken talked about "rising with the occasion" and the idea of "disenthralling ourselves."
  • Life is organic ... not linear.
  • We are obsessed with getting people to college. College does not begin in kindergarten. Kindergarten begins in kindergarten.
  • Problem of conformity in education -- like fast food where everything is standardized.
  • Human talent is tremendously diverse.
  • Passion -- what excites our spirit and energy -- is important.
  • Education doesn't feed a lot of people's spirits.
  • Education, which is primarily based on a manufacturing model, should shift to one based on principles from agriculture.
  • Human flourishing is an organic process. We cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do is create the conditions under which they begin to flourish.
  • Customizing and personalizing education is the answer to the future.
And he finished with a poem excerpt from W. B. Yeats about how we spread our dreams before others' feet -- like kids do everyday -- and askied us to "tread softly, because you tread on my dreams."

If you care about the future of children and education and society, show Ken's two TED talks (and this one, too!) to your friends and colleagues and family and talk about how you can begin to act to make positive change in the ways we educate and work. Show these clips in a public meeting at your children's school. Show them in your workplace with your colleagues. Show them at the public library. You'll be amazed who cares about these topics, who shows up and what you might accomplish together. Imagine what if ...

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