Sir Ken Robinson on TED Talks

Spend fifteen minutes and listen to Sir Ken Robinson speaking about education and creativity at this year’s Technology, Entertainment, Design Talks. Here are some snippets from his hilarious, but at the same time serious, presentation:

it’s education that’s meant to take us into this future that we can’t grasp

creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status

if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original

we are educating people out of their creative capacities

suddenly degrees aren’t worth anything

our education system has mined our minds in the way that we have strip-mined the earth for a particular commodity

6 Responses to “Sir Ken Robinson on TED Talks”

  1. Keith Burnett

    I have Sir Ken’s MP3 audio file down on the hard drive to challenge my colleagues with BUT…

    I must insist that Maths is a highly creative subject that I find involves both the left and right brain (build your castle in the air then knock it down with logical objections, then re-build it to survive the objection, repeat). I, like many maths people, also find that movement is essential: I have to walk to do Maths, others sing, and some have to dance. Google Jacques Hadamard for more on the psychology of mathematical invention.

  2. Harold

    I don’t believe that Sir Ken’s presentation is anti-maths. The main point I took from it is that our education systems don’t encourage creativity. There is creativity in mathematics, but often it is not evident in the classroom.

  3. Ron Lubensky

    What I like is about Sir Ken’s speech is its rhythm. Somehow the serious bits seem more serious, rightly so, because of the humour he intersperses.

    What I’ve done is convert it to tiny mp4 so I can play it on my phone (an SE k750i) to anybody. We have an obligation to disseminate such views to people who aren’t blogliterate.

  4. Chris

    Brilliant speech. (Keith, I don’t know why you think it was anti-math — it was clearly anti-math-and-language-at-the-expense-of-all-else). Can’t wait for more from Sir Ken.

  5. steve dahlberg

    Those interested in creativity, education and educational change might also be interested in this new book, “Education is Everybody’s Business: A Wake-Up Call to Advocates of Educational Change” (Rowman & Littlefield Education). It’s by educator Berenice Bleedorn ( ), who was the gifted consultant for the Minnesota State Department of Education, a professor of creativity in both the business and education schools at the University of St. Thomas, has taught creativity to inmates in the state prison, and writes and speaks about creativity throughout the world.

    This book really makes the case for the deliberate teaching of thinking – creative and critical – in education. It also links the importance of education to a thriving democracy. A great idea in the book is that “democracy deserves the best thinking possible” – which offers a great place to begin one’s thinking about any number of political issues in the world today. Some other good quotes from the book include:

    * Children and youth are all much smarter than we think. They are smarter than the standardized test scores tell us. They have a longer tomorrow than adults, and most of them think about it more than we realize. Students have a right to understand what is happening to the world that they are inheriting.
    * The hope is that educational programs will become better designed to make the best possible use of the natural power of the human mind to grow and develop and to be significantly active in service to a cause beyond oneself.
    * There are no limits to the intellectual resource of the human mind when it is provided with an atmosphere for personal growth.
    * The idea that `Creativity=Capital’ is not a facetious one. The capacity of the human mind for creativity and innovation is unlimited. Harvesting the creativity in a business translates to money in the bank.
    * Creative thinking can be taught if learners can practice the art of being serious and playful at the same time.
    * The educational problem of a disparity between average achievement scores of white students and black students may have some of its origin in the nature of schooling that neglects programs that identify creative talent and fails to provide for its appropriate expression in problem solving and other creative thinking activities.
    * Educators have not only an opportunity but an obligation to open the “doors of perception” for all students. The enduring purpose of education is to provide students with a perception of the outer reaches of their talents and possibilities and, ideally, to give them a reason to continue to learn and contribute to their society for all of their lives.
    * The mandate is undeniable. The future of the environment can be guaranteed only with the determined effort of all the players in the world drama in every society, and there is no time to lose. It is a perfect project for the integration of schools and society, the community and the education profession. It is a time for personal action and resolve.
    * Initiatives from concerned citizens and business interests have a vital place in developing educational outcomes that can be competitive with the rest of the developing world and can continue to contribute to a better life for all.
    * Paradoxical thinking is a prerequisite for a society and world steeped in a diversity of cultures, religions and ideologies if we ever hope to achieve a more sane and peaceful world. If complex thinking were taught, practiced and modeled during the process of education everywhere, the people of the world would understand more and fight less.


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