Friday, October 30, 2009

Ted Robinson on TED... a talk on the importance of nurturing creativity in education, and the failure of most education systems to do so.

After discussing the prevalent hierarchy of subjects in all public education systems the world over--mathematics and language first, humanities second, and the arts third--he leaves us with this:

"Our education system has mined our minds in the way that we've strip mined the earth, for a particular commodity..."

That which makes us employable and economically productive.


I think he's right.

You can watch the 20-minute video here. If you're in education, or care about it, you'll likely find the time spent worthwhile.


I enjoy Mr. Robinson's critique of our educational systems, though I certainly don't have the answer as to how it should be done, if how we are doing it is wrong. All the same, I know how I feel in the classrooms of children.

I have empathy for the authoritarian when I "supervise" indoor recess with 20 seven year-olds playing wild dogs and cats and I'm scared half to death, scenes from a real-life enactment of Lord of the Flies at my feet. Children, with all their energy and wild creativity, can be terrifying. They're so much easier to control with strict, rigid discipline.

But I also know this: I see kindergartners neatly lined up, waiting to go to lunch--"Arms to your side. No talking. Walk, don't run. Stay in line."--and I'm overwhelmed with a deep desire to set them free. I hate to sound too dramatic, but when I see that, I feel a little ill. Like I'm witnessing a crime. And it tugs at my heart, like the claws of moral responsibility, and I'm left with the sense that my job in education, my holy calling, is to do my best to get these poor, obedient little bastards to unlearn all the fear, powerlessness, servility, and acquiescence to authority that they're being taught there and to learn to love and trust themselves again.

1 comment:

Alex said...

you are talking about young children.... your neck beard connects to your chest hair....

are you sure your not a pedofile?