The ever eloquent Sir Ken Robinson contends in this TED Talk that the culture of American education contradicts three principles that make human life thrive: diversity, curiosity and creativity. Humans naturally embody those qualities, but school has become a system based on conformity and testing, qualities that don’t use the natural learning tendencies inherent within every child.

He makes an argument for individualizing learning, but also for valuing teachers and thinking of their professional development as an investment in children and the future.

  • Bruce_William_Smith

    These are useful criticisms, and Sir Ken’s approach would demonstrably improve primary education in America, which has been badly served by No Child Left Behind.

  • Pasi Vilpas

    A great speech! But what is missing, is an analysis of the reasons that are restricting the school from changing. Only these, though, would contain the key to the phenomenon. A preliminary suggestion (with a couple of additional tenticles) can be found over here

    • Padraic French

      you do know he’s been Knighted for education right? I think he knows what he’s talking about, just saying

    • Chris Katy Harris

      This article is very difficult to read as the English translation is not well done. Too bad as I thought it might have several good points. I just couldn’t read and comprehend the entirety of it.

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  • Samar Singh

    Ken Robinson has the capacity to deliver bad news with unfailing good humor. However, one essential challenge in educational systems that need improvement is that the old system does not just roll over and die in the face of a better system, which a good system might. The worse the existing system and the greater the contrast with the newer better system, the greater is the likelihood that the old system will fight to retain its reign.

    One possibility is that if the newer system is presented as a complement to the existing system, and teachers and principals have the opportunity to see the decided worth of the new system, there may be a grudging acceptance over time. This hypothesis does not come – of course – with any guarantee.

  • zep

    I had the privilege of hearing Sir Ken live @ AERO Conference 2013; he certainly does an astounding job of making the sometimes complex concerns that holistic educators have over the conventional system come back “down to earth”, a very much needed skill in order to begin to re-define schooling and more importantly, education.

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Katrina Schwartz

Katrina Schwartz is a journalist based in San Francisco. She's worked at KPCC public radio in LA and has reported on air and online for KQED since 2010. She's a staff writer for KQED's education blog MindShift.

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