Ken Robinson: How to Escape Education’s Death Valley

Yet again, another 20 minutes of brilliance from a gifted communicator and educator. Every time he talks, I find it inspirational, and it spurs me on to the possibilities of change.

If you haven’t got time to watch the whole clip, here are some jewels about diversity curiosity and creativity:

3′:30″ “human beings are naturally different and diverse… and education systems are based not on diversity but conformity… measured against a narrow set of standards…”

5′:00″ on ADHD “10% of kids being diagnosed. I don’t say there is no such thing. I do not think it is an epidemic…if you sit kids down hour after hour doing low grade clerical work, don’t be surprised if they begin to fidget! Children are not suffering for the most part a psychological condition… they are suffering childhood”

6′:00 broad curriculum gives children a chance to prosper…

6′:25 “… if you light the spark of curiosity in a child, they will learn for themselves…”

7′:30″ “…education is about learning…”

8′:42″ “… the dominant culture in education today is not about ‘learning’, it is about ‘testing’… curiosity has been replaced by a culture of compliance…”

9’50” on creativity in schools …..”instead, we have a culture of standardisation…”

12′ 59″: it is the responsibility of the system to engage the learner…. not the learner’s responsibility to comply to the system

14’30”: system leadership is too much about “command and control“…. it should be about “climate control” (policy makers treating education like an industrial process)

16′ 30″ and finally, on the culture of schools and the excellent “Death Valley” metaphor



ken robinson