Sir Ken Robinson: Making progressive education mainstream

At TEDx London, Sir Ken Robinson concluded the day’s conference with a poignant reminder: “The reason why today’s conversation is so important is that we are living in revolutionary times; that’s why we need a revolution in education”.

He identifies two major drivers of change, population growth and technology, both of which are changing exponentially …

“And that rate of change is going to accelerate; it’s not going to decrease.  We’re not heading towards some calm pasture where all the change will be behind us; they will simply become more tumultuous”.  Therefore, we now have to take note of the magnitude of changes and challenges, and of the need to see education as key to the future.

“I think it’s important that we recognise the conversation is not happening in a vacuum.  It’s not a historical vacuum; it’s not a cultural vacuum”.  The issue is to make personalisation, an “intensive relationship between students and teachers”, customization and community involvement part of mainstream education (refer to the posting of December 5, 2011).

“The technologies we have available in the schools don’t make for great education, but great educators can make something great of them.” Change needs to happen to the technologies in themselves and in the way implement them to personalise education.

“If we are resilient, and if we invest in and believe properly in our true creative powers, if we apply them in all our educational settings, then we will begin to shape a different type of future for everybody”.  Sir Ken concludes by pledging his continued support of promoting change in education and of those who make it happen.

Watch the video of Sir Ken’s final remarks at TEDx, London; or download the transcript:

Direct download:
Outro by Sir Ken Robinson at TEDx, London -The Education Revolution September 17, 2011

View and share:
Final Remarks-Outro by Sir Ken Robinson at TEDx, London -The Education Revolution September 17, 2011

Comments

Sir Ken Robinson: Making progressive education mainstream — 6 Comments

  1. How does a parent connect with enough like-minded others to create an eductional environment like those in “alternative” schools or private schools such as AI Sudbury? I am convinced that we must make a major change soon or risk the future of our kids and our world. Education as it currently stands is not addressing the talents of the people it is supposed to support and is quickly becoming obsolebete in its ability to prepare people for the “real” world. Manufactured students in jail-like institutions will not be able to survive in a world where prescribed and proscribed activities will mostly be done by one form of “machine” or another in the near future. Children who are not encouraged to create their own learning experience based on their interests, talents and passions are not going to be able to function in an environment where it will be requisite to imagine and create their own futures. At the current rate of technological change we cannot even begin to fathom what “jobs” will look like in the near future – how can we believe that spoon-fed education based on standardized tests will prepare anyone for that?

    • Hello Wendy,
      Thank you for your comment. You cut to the heart of the matter when you say, “Children who are not encouraged to create their own learning experience based on their interests, talents and passions are not going to be able to function in an environment where it will be requisite to imagine and create their own futures”—and very well said, too! Although Sir Ken and numerous others have been advocating personalised learning for many years, many schools and school districts are too slow in taking up the challenge. The good news is that many schools are working toward this goal, and yet connecting with like-minded, “progressive” thinkers remains difficult. This excellent article by Tina Barseghian may provide a starting point: http://bit.ly/rPrMyx. I shall continue to look to find more practical steps that one could take to connect with others. Thanks again for continuing the discussion!

  2. I have been a facilitator at a progressive independent school on the coast of Maine. The school is headed into its 40'th year. This is my 14 year teaching, never in a public school. I am amazed at how easily children learn when you take the progressive approach. I wish I could invite the skeptics into my room for one week. Most people read articles and may visit a truly progressive school but the key to this process is time. Truly progressive education promotes a life long love of learning. I enjoy this blog a great deal. I will share a few sentiments from the posts with my faculty members.

    • Dear T.E.M.,
      We are pleased to hear of a progressive school thriving in Maine for 40 years! Your class sounds like an innovative learning environment, a place where students are nurtured in their education. Establishing a life-long love of learning is a goal we all strive for; we will be very interested to hear more and learn from your successes. Please send along some of your experiences! Thank you for sharing inSync21.com.

  3. Hey guys!

    I got fascinated with Ken Robinson views towards creativity as being great gift of being a human being. I have an 8 year-old daughter and I’m struggling to find the best solution to help her to become a true divine being. Quite frankly – the school system sucks here in Estonia big time. I have felt the urge to do something about it – can’t sit and just do nothing about it. I love kids and their inner world…it is our duty to offer those heavenly creatures the best of the best to turn planet into a more beautiful, fun and harmonious place.

    Love.
    Piia

    • Dear Piia,

      Thank you for contacting us … it is so cool to have a connection in Estonia! We at inSync21 certainly share in your frustrations, and would love to support your efforts to improve education at your end. Please share your ideas and suggestions … we would be delighted to hear more from you.

      Kind regards,

      Ed