This less-than-17-minute talk was posted on the TED ideas worth spreading site just a week or so ago. I think every one of us should take 17 minutes off and listen to this, and think about it. It’s funny. It’s interesting. And it’s important.
Sir Ken Robinson starts with a reference to global climate change, a big problem, hard to embrace because there’s so little any individual can do. He jumps to a global education crisis, which strikes me as just as big, and just as hard to embrace. That’s sad. I hope I’m wrong. He implies, at least, that we might be able to change this for the better. I hope he’s right.
Some interesting quotes:
- A three-year old is not half a six-year old.
- We have built our education system on the model of fast food.
- If you’re doing something you love, an hour feels like five minutes. If you’re doing something that doesn’t resonate with your spirit, five minutes feels like an hour.
- 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.
- We have to change metaphors. We have to go from an industrial model of education, a manufacturing model, which is based on linearity and conformity and batching people, to a model based more on principals of agriculture. Human flourishing is not a mechanical process, it’s an organic process.
I love his ending. He finishes quoting a William B. Yeats poem, which ends: “Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.”
And he (the speaker, not the poet) concludes:
And every day, everywhere, our children spread their dreams under our feet. And we should tread softly.