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Sir Ken Robinson and Schools

Sir Ken Robinson and Schools

by Lisa Bennett

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson was in the news again recently, writing for CNN <www.cnn.com> about schools and creativity. So one night, while cooking a (moderately successful) quiche, I tuned into his popular TED <www.ted.com> talk on the topic.

In it, he describes how people tend to respond to discussions of education this way:

"If you are at a dinner party and you say you work in education — actually, you're not often at dinner parties, frankly, if you work in education. You're not asked; and you're never asked back, curiously. But if you are and they say, 'What do you do?' and you say you work in education, you can see the blood run from their face. They think, 'Oh my god, why me? My one night out all week.'

But if you ask about their education, they pin you to the wall — because it's one of those things that go deep with people. Am I right? Like religion and money and other things. So I have a big interest in education, and I think we all do. We have a huge vested interest in it — partly because it's education that is to take us into this future that we can't grasp."

That about says it, doesn't it? Speak of education in general terms and people tune out. But speak of it personally, and everything changes because we know how important education really is.

"The tragedy," he added in his CNN piece, "is that meeting the many social, economic, spiritual and environmental challenges we now face depends absolutely on the very capacities of insight, creativity, and innovation that these systems are systematically suppressing in yet another generation of young people."

I'd like to tell him about some of the educators we've seen engaged in schooling for sustainability. If you have a story to share, please post it in our new SHARE feature on this website.

 

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