14 October 2010

Changing Education Paradigms

From the remarkably good RSA Animate, the latest animation from Sir Ken Robinson, on Changing Education Paradigms.

I like how he traces the false epidemic of ADHD among children, and how he connects the necessary engagement with the aesthetic to promote creativity and divergent thinking with the ANaesthetic effect of drugs like Ritalin that essentially turn off minds, disconnect engagement, and create compliant factory machine components.

What I like most is how everything that Sir Ken says, and how he constructs his argument, exactly parallels and complements my own ideas on No Educator Left Behind. It's not the ego-stroking validation that pleases me, but rather the realization that there are credible people elsewhere in the world who understand, as I do, that the modernist education project is fundamentally wrong for our time, and that doing more of the wrong thing will not bring about the requisite changes to sustain an already transformed present, and inevitably transformational future. Not only our current education system, but also our current fundamental model of what education is and should be - the education paradigm - are wrong for our time: we are spending incredible amounts of time, money, and effort to create great citizens for the 19th century who become completely disengaged and increasingly unable to survive in the 21st.

Standardization and testing won't do it. Fancy tech in the classrooms (alone) won't do it. Rethinking the fundamental tenets of education, as I discuss in No Educator, is the place to start - we simply have to get back to the basics.

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