Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!

This is a very stirring speech and it is hard to disagree with him. If we live in the knowledge age then investment in education needs to take highest priority. Not only should education be high priority but the standing of teachers and educators must also be elevated in the eyes of the wider public. All to often we raise persons of fame and fortune to the lofty heights of public adulation only to find the feet of giants are made of clay. Another common view, touted in the IT industry is, "well he got in to College then dropped out and became a billionaire!". Why this maybe true for some very successful IT entrepreneurs it really only tells part of the story. Often forgotten are those who do work hard at University despite great financial and personal challenges and contribute to enriching the culture of a nation. Furthermore, in your local community or city thousands of doctors, engineers, nurses, teachers and countless other professionals create the delicate network of interactions that create the very societies we live in. However, I digress and Sir Ken is right that we need to think differently about education. If we can maintain the creativity and imagination that a young child has and enfold it with a disciplined academic mind that is tolerant of other cultural perspectives and has a well developed ethical compass great things will happen. Now the challenge for education is to create, foster and champion systems, that encourage, grow and empower their citizens to continue to be creative and constructive thinkers, life long learners and also positive nurturing human beings. If we do this not one or a handful of people will be remembered as the paragon of virtue and financial success, but an entire generation will be remembered as the driving force behind a learning revolution. A revolution that we need and have to have. 

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