CHANGING EDUCATION PARADIGMS by Ken Robinson
[6:23] We are getting our children through education by anaesthetising them, and I think we should be doing the exact opposite. We shouldn’t be putting them to sleep—we should be waking them up to what they have inside of themselves.
[7:48] I define creativity as the process of having original ideas that have value. “Divergent thinking” isn’t a synonym, but it’s an essential capacity for creativity…We all have this capacity and it mostly deteriorates.
[10:44] Most great learning happens in groups; collaboration is the stuff of growth.
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HOW SCHOOLS KILL CREATIVITY (2006)
[2:00] It’s education that’s meant to take us into this future we can’t grasp. If you think of it, children starting school this year will be retiring in 2065. Nobody has a clue—despite all the expertise that’s been on parade for the past four days—what the world will look like in five years’ time. And yet we’re meant to be educating them for it. So the unpredictability, I think, is extraordinary.
[2:52] My contention is, all kids have tremendous talents. And we squander them, pretty ruthlessly.
[5:36] If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.
[6:00] We’re educating people out of their creative capacities.
[12:54] We need to radically rethink our view of intelligence. We know three things about intelligence. One, it’s diverse. We think about the world in all the ways that we experience it. We think visually, we think in sound, we think kinesthetically. We think in abstract terms, we think in movement. Secondly, intelligence is dynamic. If you look at the interactions of a human brain, as we heard yesterday from a number of presentations, intelligence is wonderfully interactive. The brain isn’t divided into compartments. In fact, creativity — which I define as the process of having original ideas that have value — more often than not comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things…. And the third thing about intelligence is, it’s distinct.
[17:49] I believe our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology, one in which we start to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity. Our education system has mined our minds in the way that we strip-mine the earth: for a particular commodity. And for the future, it won’t serve us. We have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we’re educating our children. There was a wonderful quote by Jonas Salk, who said, “If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on Earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.” And he’s right.
What TED celebrates is the gift of the human imagination. We have to be careful now that we use this gift wisely and that we avert some of the scenarios that we’ve talked about. And the only way we’ll do it is by seeing our creative capacities for the richness they are and seeing our children for the hope that they are. And our task is to educate their whole being, so they can face this future. By the way — we may not see this future, but they will. And our job is to help them make something of it. Thank you very much.
BRING ON THE LEARNING REVOLUTION! (2010)
[4:30] Every education system in the world is being reformed at the moment and it’s not enough. Reform is no use anymore, because that’s simply improving a broken model. What we need—and the word’s been used many times during the course of the past few days—is not evolution, but a revolution in education. This has to be transformed into something else.
[10:48] Human communities depend upon a diversity of talent, not a singular conception of ability.
[13:00] We have sold ourselves into a fast food model of education, and it’s impoverishing our spirit and our energies as much as fast food is depleting our physical bodies.
[14:25] The reason so many people are opting out of education is because it doesn’t feed their spirit, it doesn’t feed their energy or their passion.
So I think we have to change metaphors. We have to go from what is essentially an industrial model of education, a manufacturing model, which is based on linearity and conformity and batching people. We have to move to a model that is based more on principles of agriculture. We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process; it’s an organic process. And you cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish.
So when we look at reforming education and transforming it, it isn’t like cloning a system. There are great ones, like KIPP’s; it’s a great system. There are many great models. It’s about customizing to your circumstances and personalizing education to the people you’re actually teaching. And doing that, I think, is the answer to the future because it’s not about scaling a new solution; it’s about creating a movement in education in which people develop their own solutions, but with external support based on a personalized curriculum.
Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will
"Hacking your Education" is about taking the concept of home schooling, or unschooling, to the University level. Although Stephens does not say so, his book is most appropriate for people in the upper ranges of the ability distribution, the people who lose the most when their abilities and interests are stifled by the educational bureaucracy. Though it is not his thesis, I add that these are the instances in which society damages itself the most by forcing bright kids into the straitjacket of conventional systems.
At 20, Dale Stephens founded UnCollege because we’re paying too much for college and learning too little. It’s no secret that college doesn’t prepare students for the real world. Student loan debt recently eclipsed credit card debt for the first time in history and now tops 1 trillion dollars. And the throngs of unemployed graduates chasing the same jobs makes us wonder whether there’s a better way to “make it” in today’s marketplace.
Stephens is a sought-after education expert appearing on major news networks including CNN, ABC, NPR, CBS, Fox, and TechCrunch. His work has been covered by the New York Times and New York Magazine to Fast Company and Forbes.
Stephens’ interest in education comes from his background in unschooling, the self-directed form of homeschooling with which he was raised. He left school at age eleven and self-educated instead of going to middle and high school.
He has spoken around the world at high-profile events, from debating Vivek Wadhwa onstage at TED 2012 to lecturing at the New York Times to speaking to C-level executives at NBC Universal. He works frequently with universities who realize their model of education must change to survive in the 21st century.
In May 2011 Stephens was selected out of hundreds of individuals around the world as a Thiel Fellow, a program recognizing the top twenty-four entrepreneurs around the world under the age of twenty. In addition to leading UnCollege, Stephens advises education and technology companies. [Amazon.com]