Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sir Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms

Fascinating.  And fun to watch.


  1. That was good. I think I'll send it to some teachers - who probably would agree but are stuck in the same system doing things the same way.

  2. 1. Have ADHD diagnoses increased because there is an increase in standardized testing, or have ADHD diagnoses increased because there is a diagnosis available? The problem existed decades (probably centuries) before there was a name attached to it.

    2. How do we educate the masses of our children in this country if not in batches? How do we restructure the batches away from age groupings? The bane of modern education in this country is the social promotion. We could retain a failing student in the eighth grade for three or four years until he passes the course work, but would we want an 18 year old boy in the same class as a 14 year old girl? The money and resources to educate that you man separately do not exist, so he is passed along from grade to grade in order to protect the young girl.

    3. Our society is no longer a manufacturing society. If we accept that the modern model of education is out dated because it was developed during the industrial revolution in this country, how do we restructure education for the service industry society that we have become? Or, do we? How should the educational model be re-casted?

    4. School districts are often based on geopolitical boundaries. How do we change this to better serve our population and meet the changing needs of American education?

    5. Did anyone else notice that the caricature of "out of touch Washington” was a caricature of former President Bush? When was this video made? Was that a subtle piece of political commentary or just a coincidence? If it was the former, what biases does the narrator bring to his analysis of modern education in America?

    6. What does all of this mean for homeschoolers?

  3. I looked into my own question #5. The speech was given in 2009, according to Sir Robinson's own website. Was the art work done with or without his approval? Was the caricature his idea or the illustrator's?

  4. Wow...you're a thinker. I watched it and was entertained. I thought a little bit. Darcy thought a lot and asked me many questions similar to yours. Said much of what he said sounded like what she learned in her Ed. classes. Had lots of issues.

    Darcy looked into the source of the artwork....this organization does these animations of "speeches". Here's a blog. I would assume they did this with his permission, but their biases will certainly be somewhat evident. And they're definitely an organization with an agenda.

    I've been thinking much and reading much lately about school reform. Love to see what people are thinking about the current system and what's right or wrong with it. The question doesn't, and yet, does affect homeschoolers. If nothing else, the chaos surrounding our nation's education system highlights EVERYTHING that is right about homeschooling!

    So there you have it. Great thoughts, Sir Arby. You would LOVE talking with my daughter.

  5. The questions were the result of watching the video with The Boss and talking about it afterward. I would be disrespectful if I did not give her credit for half the thinking. The good half.

  6. Except for her strange fixation with the Green Bay Packers, your wife strikes me as a VERY intelligent woman. You're a lucky man. :-)

  7. Hey, Arby. I have a theory about your question #1.

    I suspect that what we call ADD or ADHD is simply part of natural human variation--it has always been with us, and shouldn't be considered bad or abnormal. It exists because in certain social and physical environments, "hyperactivity"--that is, seemingly boundless energy--and "short attention span"--that is, instant reaction to new stimuli suddenly impinging on our awareness--are entirely beneficial.

    I remember seeing this article some time back, and it makes sense to me. And I suspect that there are plenty of other times and places where ADHD is an advantage--for instance, I suspect that it would have been an advantage back in the days when Laura Ingalls Wilder was still living out on the frontier.

    I suspect that the problem of ADHD in the modern world is that the modern world hasn't yet found a place in which to fit these otherwise entirely normal people. There's nothing wrong with the people, except that we haven't yet found a way to fit them in to office cubicles....

  8. Timothy, great to hear from you! I hope that all is well. I believe that we are all on the ADD/ADHD spectrum. The question is how much it affects us. Thanks for the link. I will read it.