Sir Ken Robinson: Changing Paradigms
Authors: Phillip Hall, Duane Nelson, and Victoria Williams
In the video, Sir Ken states that we must 'Change the Paradigm of believing a child is academic or non-academic. Also, that we must teach children at their ability level. He believes that our current system, working under the beliefs of the Industrial Revolution, which keeps our children from learning at their full potential. He states that students should not be taught in age levels because even though children may be the same age, their levels of intelligence and creativity are very different. He believes children learn differently and must be taught differently.
As you view the video, anyone can see that Sir Ken is not a fan of medication for ADHD students. He makes reference to ADHD as being our modern plague. We felt as though he was comparing the ADHD plague in today's society, to the culture of Enlighentment and the Industrial Revolution era. Each plague playing a disservice to our children's education. Sir Ken points out to his listeners that we are living in the most stimulating times in history, with media and different forms of technology thrown at us daily. His point is, how can we penalize a student or anyone for that matter, for having a bit of ADHD. He helps the listener understand that there has been drastic changes in society since the 19th century. Therefore, we must change our teaching habits to fit the needs of our students. I felt that this is not something we have to think about doing, it is something we have to do to meet the needs of the society we live in. Sir Ken believes ADHD is a made up epidemic and that as educators, we have to allow children to discover their creativity and learn differently. The teacher also has to be willing to teach differently, not teaching children in what he calls batches.
Sir Ken Robinson also explains the difference in Aesthetics and Anesthetics. Aesthetics is when a person's senses are operating at full peak; they are at the top of their game. Anesthetics is when a person's senses is the total opposite. The person shuts their senses down and deadens their ability to be creative. ADHD would be under the influence of anesthetics. Sir Ken makes it clear that we place too many limits on many of our students and prevent them from reaching their full potential. He states that their are so many very bright students out their that we as educators have damaged because of these limits. We do this by continuing to model our educational system by an ancient rule. We must take these limitations off and allow our students to soar; then and only then will we see change needed to embrace the 21st century classroom.
The last part of the video dealt with Sir Ken's view on standardized testing and curriculum. He believes that this is definitely not the direction we should follow. This is one of the man reasons he believe it is crucial we 'Change the Paradigms'. In this section, he explains the difference between divergent thinkers and creativity. His definition of creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value. Divergent thinking on the other hand is being able to think outside the box and have more than one answer or idea. Divergent thinking is not the same as creativity but true creativity cannot exist with it.
The thing we took most from this video, is that we as a society, especially educators, must get over our old habits. We must embrace a child's creativity, understand that students learn differently, stop using ADHD as a reason for not teaching the overstimulated student and discontinue the 19th century style of educating.
How to Escape Education's Death Valley
The information I took from Sir Ken Robinson's video, is how educators have the ability to challenge student more effectively. The three principles crucial for the human mind to flourish are: 1st principal- human beings are naturally different and diverse, 2nd principal- curiosity and the 3rd Principal- human life is inherently creative.
Human beings are naturally different and diverse. Education on No Child Left Behind is based on conformity. The education is necessary but not sufficient. True education has to give equal weight on arts, humanities and physical education. Sir Ken gives a great explanation on why ADHD isn't an epidemic! He makes a valued point that if you sit a child down and give them hours of boring work, don't be surprised if they start to get frigid and rowdy! Sometimes, this is not the fault of the student, just poor teaching skills.
The second principle, Curiosity, is the engine of achievement; kids prosper best in a broad curriculum. Task vs Achievement was also discussed. Task vs Achievement: the role of a teacher is to facilitate learning. The video pointed out that testing is sometimes a problem in teaching. Standardized tests shouldn't be the dominant culture of education, they should be diagnostic. It should be used to point out a child's target areas, so the educator can form lessons that focus on these weak areas. Standardized test does not make students excited and curious about learning, they limit students to making a score rather than giving them the knowledge to applying what they've learned in the real world.
Principles three, human life is inherently creative is one of the most important principals discussed in the video, in my opinion. We create our lives and we can recreate them as we go through life. Education isn't a mechanical system, it's a human system. As a human system, individuals require different approaches to learning; people learn differently. Students should not be made to learn the same as every kid in his class or school. Mechanical systems aren't made to be individualized but a human system can helps students in more specialized ways. Ken Robinson: How to Escape Death Valley
Ken Robinson: How schools kill creativity
Ken Robinson gives a great lecture and keeps the crowd interested by being humorous. He believes all children are artistic and creative, but the problem is that we lose it growing up or it is educated out of us. There is a universal hierarchy in education; where math and languages dominate, followed by humanities, and lastly the arts. He mentions that many professors, while highly educated, only use their intelligence within their own minds. They tend to forget that intellect can exist outside of the brain. He believes that people need to be more dynamic in their learning and have original thoughts. Robinson defines creativity as being original. The school curriculum focuses on more note taking and lecturing instead of giving students the ability to think on their own. If the school curriculum focused more on Project Base Learning this would allow students the capability of using more creativity. As future educators it is our responsibility not to steal the opportunities of creativeness but allow them to explore the possibilities.