Education systems too narrow

SirKenRobinson_398x234

Tonight I finally got around to watching the 7.30 Report’s interview with Sir Kenneth Robinson that aired last week.  (16/6) on ABC TV.  Quite a few staff at school had seen it, and were talking about and it was worth looking at, both for his ideas about the importance of finding your passion and interest (and how schools didn’t do that well) and how the current trend towards testing narrowed the focus of schools, in a bad way.

That first point is critical, and I’ve sometimes made it to parents when speaking at information evenings and curriculum nights: that it could be argued that the most important thing a school can do for a student is awaken in them their particular area of expertise and passion which will lead them forward.

I’ve mentioned Robinson in this blog before so it was good to be able to see him interviewed in a two part presentation. You can see it too on the 7.30 Report site with video and audio.

Transcript of interview on 7.30 Report Site

Direct link to video interview (broadband speed, streaming in Windows Media Player)

The Element

The other thing I was reminded of in the Caldwell notes was his reference to The Element by Ken Robinson, and the quotes below are from that book. It’s gone straight to my wishlist!

element

‘Education doesn’t need to be reformed – it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardise education but to personalise it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions’ (p. 238).
‘The curriculum of education for the twenty-first century must be transformed radically. . . The arts, sciences, humanities, physical education, languages, and math all have equal and central contributions to make to a student’s education’ (p. 247).
‘Education is being strangled persistently by the culture of standardised testing. The irony is that these tests are not raising standards except in some very particular areas, and at the expense of most of what really matters in education’ (p. 249).

‘Education doesn’t need to be reformed – it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardise education but to personalise it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions’ (p. 238).

‘The curriculum of education for the twenty-first century must be transformed radically. . . The arts, sciences, humanities, physical education, languages, and math all have equal and central contributions to make to a student’s education’ (p. 247).

‘Education is being strangled persistently by the culture of standardised testing. The irony is that these tests are not raising standards except in some very particular areas, and at the expense of most of what really matters in education’ (p. 249).