Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blog Assignment #12

Learning From Sir Ken Robinson

Changing Education Paradigms

In the video, Ken Robinson: Changing education paradigms, Sir Ken Robinson discusses reforming the education system. According to Robinson, the current system is outdated and no longer working. The culture of schools and institutions needs to shift. Robinson compares schools to factories; there is a production line mentality. Students are grouped by age with no consideration taken for their personal learning styles or levels. This is the old way of thinking. The new way is to focus on the individuality of students and encourage them to be creative, engaged and present in the current moment. What schools once labeled 'cheating' is now collaboration, and should be encouraged. Some of the best learning happens in groups, so schools should support collaboration and recognize the value it has in the classroom.

The ADHD Epidemic

We found Robinson's views on ADHD very interesting. He theorizes that ADHD is not an epidemic, but the result of children living in the most stimulating period in history. Every day students are bombarded with information overload. Computers, phones, advertisements and televisions are just some of the technologies that students are constantly immersed in. Robinson says it is no wonder that kids can't focus in the classroom-- compared to these technologies, school seems boring! This is one reason why it is so important for schools and teachers to implement technology in the classroom. Technology is relevant and engaging to students, which leads to better learning.

Girl Playing Horn

The Importance of Creativity

In this video, Sir Ken Robinson discusses the significance of creativity. He said many things that we agree with as a group and think are quite interesting. One of the first things he said that struck our thinking was when he said, “creativity is as important as literacy.” This, we believe, is completely true. We learned from this video, that in today’s education systems, the arts, keys of creativity, are pushed to the bottom of importance. The basis of education is not to teach exploration, creativity, outside of the box thinking. Education is based on our academic ability, and what will get students the most successful and likely job in their future. From watching this video, we had thoughts about many different things. What if a child is a born-to-be dancer or artist? What if that child is constantly being pushed into math and science, when the child can not stay still and has to move to think? Sir Ken Robinson explains a story just like this. A girl who was brought to a doctor, because her mother thought she had adhd, because she could never stay still or concentrate. The doctor watched the girl and turned the radio on. The girl was instantly dancing. The doctor told the mother nothing was wrong with her, but that the girl was meant to be a dancer. We learned from Sir Ken Robinson and this story that every person has different strengths, and our education system should be based on that and not just academics.


Another thing we learned from Ken Robinson is how children take chances at their age versus when they grow up. By this, I mean that when we were little, we might say something that we did not know the meaning of but wanted to say it anyway. This could have been a bad thing or a good thing depending on the word. As adults, we are afraid to make mistakes or say something wrong. In education, students are taught that mistakes are wrong. The students are based on a system that the more mistakes you make, the lower your grade will be. One thing we, as a group, agree on, is that mistakes are how we learn! If mistakes are pushed as wrong, then how will students be creative? They will not want to think outside the box, because of their inner fear that the thought might be wrong. Our education system is pushing our students out of creativity, and we have to change the fundamentals of our education system in order for students to take full advantage of their greatest strengths and creativity.

How to Escape Education's Death Valley

We really enjoyed watching Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk,How To Escape Education’s Death Valley.

In his speech he talks about one major crisis in the education system which is the dropout rate. In American society there is a 60% rate and in the Native American society, an 80% dropout rate. The drop out rate does not include the students still in school that are disengaged in learning or that don't enjoy it. It isn't about not spending enough money or making initiatives to improve education because we spend more money on education than any other country but the problem is that were not teaching the most successful way for our students to learn. Sir Ken Robinson also talks about ADHD and we couldn't agree with him more on what he says about it. He says just because a child is hyperactive doesn't mean the child should be put on medicine to be calmed down. Any child that sits in a classroom for hours when they are young are going to get bored and start acting up. That is why we need to make learning exciting and keep the children engaged and eager to learn. Mr. Ken Robinson then describes what he means by "death valley" in his title. Death valley is a desert by his house that nothing grows on. He describes how death valley and our students are similar. Death valley doesn't have anything because it doesn't rain there so it doesn't have grass, flowers, trees, or anything like that. When it did rain, though, flowers and grass grew. The same with students, If teachers don't teach them anything then they wont learn anything. If we do teach them then they will learn. This is a great video by Mr. Robinson and we cant wait to apply all the knowledge we have learned to our future classrooms and students.

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