Oct 22, 2010

Changing Education

I love Sir Ken Robinson's views on education.  He has many powerful comments on the state of education today and in the past.  I first heard about him about a year ago when he appeared on talk show in which he was talking about education and "pushing" his book The Element.  I bought the book and loved the idea that he relates about finding your passion.  Being passionate about what you do is something everyone should strive for.

I remember a few years ago, my father-in-law made the comment that I'm sure we have all heard.  He said, "You shouldn't be so concerned about finding a job that pays a lot of money.   Find a job you love.  You'll be much happier and your family will be much happier."  This spoke to me because as a teacher, I love what I do, but it doesn't pay much, as we all know.  And of course, there's nothing wrong with finding a career that you love AND that pays a lot.  But in the long run, being passionate about what I do for a living makes it easier for me to get up and go to work in the morning.

Then I thought about when I wake up my kids to go to school in the morning.  Inevitably, one of them says, "I don't want to go to school."  And I usually ask them why?  Is there something wrong?  Is someone bullying you?  Is there a problem?  They usually answer no to all of these.  And I still wonder why they don't want to go.  But recently I've begun to think that I have known the answer  all along.  They don't want to go because they aren't passionate about it.  They aren't given the experiences that make them love what they learn.

Now, what does Sir Ken Robinson have to do with this?   Low and behold, today, I get an IM from a co-worker with a link to a YouTube video from Robinson.  I have included it here.  If you are at all concerned for the state of education today, you need to watch this video.  He provides some amazing insights.  In the video he talks about the history of education and the rationale behind the way we teach kids today.  He then goes on to discuss what we probably should be doing instead.  Pass the video on to your fellow teachers as well.  It is definitely worth sharing.