Once again, Sir Ken Robinson brings a lot of wit and poignancy to the discussion involving education reform. “We don’t need an evolution of education, rather a revolution. ” This is especially true if we view education as a broken model, one that is essentially geared towards producing citizens of a different sort.
Robinson stresses education geared towards innovation. We have always paid lip service in education to the wonders of critical thinking from Plato to the present. However, mass education is a different story. It is generally an exercise in ‘skilling’, providing tools to navigate the landscape of modern life (literacy, basic math, etc.).It is not designed to produce critical thinkers looking for innovative solutions to both new and age-old problems.
I really do enjoy his mention of the ‘tyranny of common sense”, that we take for granted things that we have always done a certain way. This tyranny is found at individual, organizational, and national levels, wherever there a person looking for a solution to a problem of process.
Robinson is stressing much the same as we hear from leading academics and educational reformers. We need change, we need a revolution, we need it now. But frankly he just says it so much better. And he is funny.
And he quotes Lincoln, which is also a testament to his desire to reach back and rise above the mundane of much of this discussion.
“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.”