Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Special Examination T2: Response to Sir Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson, an author and experienced educator from London, England, had some excellent arguments and points to his views on education. He started out with an idea that I had never thought about before, but that is generally quite obvious: most adults do things for their careers that they feel competent in, but are not necessarily passionate about. Sir Robinson says that people should do things "in their element", meaning something they have a natural gift or knack for. Also, it should be something that you just "get". I could not agree with him more in this aspect. Being good at something should not be enough to make an individual want to do it for the rest of his/her life; they should love what they are doing! Sir Robinson says that your natural talent and abilities should meet your passions. I thought this was a great way to put it.

Sir Robinson also makes a good point when it comes to education; too much emphasis is being put on pure academic ability, while the students' natural abilities and tendencies are seen to be "unuseful" and nonrelevant to the job market. He says there are three specific aspects to intelligence: it's diverse, it's dynamic, or interactive, and it's distinct. It's not measured by how much a person knows or doesn't know; it's more about what they do with their natural talents and interests. Another view of Sir Robinson that I completely agree with is that education is not a mechanism, but an organism. Also, our success depends on our environment and available opportunities. Kids are all capable of great things. Different things, but they all have something personal to offer to society. He also emphasizes that creativity is as important as literacy. Kids are not afraid to be wrong or make mistakes; therefore, they are very creative in their ideas and how they carry out these ideas. Sir Robinson says that for some time now, students are being "educated out of their creativity". There is a hierarchy in education, with math and language at the top, then the humanities, and lastly the arts are taught. One subject should not be more important than the other; by doing this, we also catagorize the children who are better in some academic areas than in others, and their creativity in these areas is stopped abrubtly. Sir Robinson calls this "academic inflation", which I think is a proper way to label the way education is thought of and valued. According to Sir Robinson, we need to drastically change the way we view education and the educational system out in place by schools and society today. I could not agree more.

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