Saturday, February 7, 2009

Creativity, education, and the future of our children

I'm about to share with you a 20-minute video of one of the most important presentations I have ever had the privilege of witnessing.

This is for all of you home-schoolers out there, for anyone who has children, and for anyone at all, actually, who is interested in hearing one person's perspective on what is happening around the world today in the field of education. Laced with a goodly amount of British humor, Sir Ken Robinson's lecture is chock full of succinct and salient points. It is one that I intend to view again and again.

Here it is ... ...

Many thanks to Steven, who himself is a schoolteacher, for introducing me to such a remarkable individual in this post.

I mentioned that it is laced with British humor. Well, it is, and one of Sir Ken's points, as I recall, is that - paraphrasing here - by the time a person reaches college professorial status, he regards his body as simply a means of transporting his head around. I found this terribly amusing, and it reminded me of one of my husband's many stories about one of his college professors.

This professor was very shy, it seemed, and - after entering the room and placing his coat and hat on the desk and calling roll with his head hidden behind the roster the whole time, he would turn to the chalkboard and begin lecturing all the while writing appropriately corresponding equations. This would continue until the bell rang signaling the end of class, whereupon he would immediately turn around, gather up his books, hat and coat, and exit the classroom without once making eye contact or speaking with a single student.

Another little quirk was that, just before walking to his desk, he would peek behind the door. It was only after he had satisfied that bit of curiosity that he would continue his routine.

One day a student wondered out loud to nobody in particular, "What would happen if I wrote 'Boo!' on the chalkboard behind the door?" He was encouraged to go ahead with this experiment, and the next day the whole class arrived early in eager anticipation of the test results.

The hour arrived. The professor appeared, looked behind the door, saw what was written, and quickly disappeared. He wasn't seen on campus again that day!

[My husband always insisted that this was a true story. Am not entirely sure I believed him. Have just a wonderful story that I'll share with you another time about an absent-minded professor, but it's not appropriate for this post.]


Tammy said...

That presentation was fabulous; thank you for posting it. Much food for thought...

Craig Peihopa said...

I am with Tammy on that Goldenrod, Really stimulating. Thanks

steven said...

goldenrod, thanks for spreading ken's words. it's long past time that we take a good hard look at what is being done - keep what works and start the real work of rethinking education so we can give our kids the tools to create the future that they really need!!!

Goldenrod said...

Steven, Tammy is a home-schooling mom, and the job she (along with many others of her friends) is doing in re creativity and developing the child's whole self is to be not only recognized but commended. I was very pleased to be able to present Sir Ken's remarks on my site. They should provide not only positive confirmation on the work Tammy and other home-schoolers are doing, but some inspiration for the future.

As a long time educator myself, Steven, I'm with you all the way on this one!