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Every country on Earth is reforming education and learning.

21 Oct

Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert, gave an enlightening talk about education reform around the world. Education reform is happening less through legislation, and more through an awakening of what creativity, knowledge-gathering, and motivation really are.

Education reform is a critical topic as Thomas Friedman (of the NYTimes and ‘The World is Flat’) recently opined that, ‘America’s core competency is is ability to attract, develop and unleash creative talent.

Is that competency in danger? Are other countries struggling as well?

Sir Ken Robinson challenges a few key assumptions that stem from the intellectual culture of the  Enlightenment and the economic circumstances of the Industrial Revolution.

  • Why do we batch students by age or year? Shouldn’t we batch students by their respective skill in a certain topic?
  • Why do we educate students in the same class sizes? Don’t some learn better in large groups, small groups, or even alone?
  • Why are all students forced to learn during the same hours? Some students are geared towards morning, afternoon, or evening learning.

The most alarming statistic Sir Ken Robinson provides is from a study on divergent thinking published in Breakpoint and Beyond. Divergent thinking is the ability to think of many answers to a specific problem… this is the first step to problem solving… before we get analytical and make THE BEST decision (this latter process if where business education focuses today). 98% of 1500 kindergartners scored at the genius level for divergent thinking. Their scores went down as they progressed in the education system.

What examples have you seen of successful education reform? What programs are creating vibrant students who are making a difference in the world?

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  • http://desertramblings.wordpress.com Cindy K.

    Great animation! So now that I am moving in Sir Ken Robinson’s direction of thought, what do I do about it? How can I make my homeschool follow his theory of education more? It felt like the animation was cut short – how do I find out more about what he said and how school SHOULD be working?

  • http://ATSiem.com Adam Siemiginowski

    Cindy,

    The animation is a summary of the full speech you can watch here. You can get more actionable advice at http://sirkenrobinson.com.

    I think ultimately Sir Ken Robinson’s thinking demands more people play the role of educator… certainly you identify. New models for learning are enabled by technology today, hence the need for rethinking how we educate our youth. (See Khan Academy and an awesome presentation about how it was founded.)

    I’d love to learn more about what you find… please share back. Possibly a guest post here?

    Thanks for the comment!
    Adam

  • http://ATSiem.com Adam Siemiginowski

    Here is a really interesting presentation explaining how math is not linear, and challenges why we teach it in a linear manner.

    http://prezi.com/aww2hjfyil0u/math-is-not-linear/

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