Ken Robinson: the 3 principles that are critical to the prosperity of the human mind

Sir Ken Robinson outlines three principles crucial for the prosperity of the human mind, and also talks about how modern education culture works against them. With humor and energy, he talks about how to get out of the "valley of death" in education, in which we find ourselves, and how to educate the younger generation in the atmosphere of possibilities.



Thank you very much.


I moved to America 12 years ago with his wife Terry and two children. In fact, as it turned out, we moved to L. A. — (Laughter) — thinking that move to America, but, whatever it was, from Los Angeles not long to go to America.


I came here 12 years ago, and when I arrived, I was told different, for example: "Americans don't understand irony". This is familiar to you? It's not true. I have traveled all across the country and have not seen anything that says that Americans don't understand irony. This is one of the cultural myths, for example that the British — reserved people. Don't know why I think so.We invaded all the countries that touch each other. (Laughter) it is not True that Americans don't understand irony, I just wanted to let you know that so much about you and say behind your back. You know, in Europe, when you leave the living room, you will say: "Glory to God, when nobody was to be ironic".


I understand that Americans are not alien to irony, when faced with the law "no child left behind", Because when you look at its title captures the irony, isn't it? Because...(Laughter) (Applause) he leaves behind millions of children. I understand that it is not the most attractive to the law of the title would be: "Millions of children left behind". I understand. What's the plan? Well, we propose to leave millions of children — so the law will work.


And he already works fine. In some parts of the country, 60 percent of high school students dropping out of school. In the settlements of native Americans already 80%. If you cut that number in half, according to some estimates, the net profit for the US economy in 10 years will amount to about a trillion dollars. From an economic point of view, it is advisable after all to do? Moreover, huge costs go to eliminate the harm caused by problem cast study.


But cast study is just the tip of the iceberg. Don't take into account those children who go to school, but divorced from her, which she doesn't like that she doesn't give anything particularly useful.


And the reason is not that we are spending enough money. America spends on education more money than most other countries. Smaller classes than many other countries. And annually offer hundreds of initiatives to improve education. But the problem is that we are moving in the wrong direction. There are three principles that underpin human prosperity, and they are opposed to educational culture in which most teachers have to labor and most students have to endure.


The first principle is that people by nature are different.


Can I ask: do any of you have children? Well. And the grandchildren? And two children and more? So. And the rest of the kids just met. (Laughter) there are such men. I bet and I am sure that I will win the bet. If you have two children or more, you can bet that they did not like each other. Isn't it? Right? (Applause) They wouldn't be confused? Something like: "who are You? Remind me again. My mom will probably introduce some color differentiation, not to be confused".


Education law "no child left behind" is based not on diversity but uniformity. Schools are encouraged to ensure that they found what kids can do, among a very limited number of aspirations. One of the results of the law "no child left behind" was supposed to be a greater concentration on natural Sciences and mathematics. They are very important. And I'm not here to dispute the importance of natural Sciences and mathematics.

On the contrary, they are necessary, but they alone are not enough. In this education should be given equal attention to the fine arts, Humanities, and physical education. An awful lot of children... Thank you — (Applause) — according to some estimates, in America at the moment, approximately 10% of children speaking in fact, diagnose the different States of the United a very common name attention deficit disorder. ADHD.

I'm not saying that there is no such thing. I just don't believe that this is such an epidemic. If you are sitting hour after hour, doing primitive clerical work, is it any wonder that they begin to fidget? (Laughter) (Applause) Children, for the most part, do not suffer from mental syndromes. They suffer from childhood. (Laughter). I know this because the early years of my life I spent as a child. I went through all this.

Children are most successful when the curriculum is diverse and supports different talents, and no small part of them. And, by the way, the Humanities are important not just because improving academic performance in mathematics. The Humanities are important because they are addressed to those parties to the child's personality, which are otherwise not affected.


Second... Thank You. (Applause)


A second principle to guide human life to flourish, is a curiosity. If to be able to ignite in children a spark of curiosity, very often they will learn without further assistance. The knowledge comes naturally to children. It's a big thing to awaken this specific ability or to suppress it. Curiosity is the kind of engine achievements. I say this because one of the results of the culture, if I may say so, was the degradation of the teaching profession. No system in the world, and no school in the country, cannot be better than their teachers.

Teachers are the source of success of the schools. But teaching is a creative profession. Training, in the proper sense, is not a delivery system. It's not just transfer the information. So do great teachers, but great teachers are mentors, they stimulate, encourage, entice. Ultimately, education is reduced to training.If there is no training, no education. People can spend an awful lot of time discussing education and generally without discussing training. But the whole point of education is to people learn.


A friend of mine, an old friend, really very old, he was already dead. (Laughter) Over, I'm afraid, nowhere. But he was a wonderful man, a wonderful philosopher. He talked about the difference between challenge and achievement inherent in the meanings of verbs. That is, you can do some activity, but nothing really in it not to achieve, for example, to diet. This is a very good example. Here is a man sitting on a diet. He's lost weight? No, in General. Training like this. For example, you can say: "This is Deborah, she's in room # 34, she teaches". But if one never learns, she may be busy with the task of teaching, but, in fact, not performing it.


The role of the teacher is to facilitate learning. That's all. And part of the problem, I think, stems from the fact that the prevailing educational culture has become focused not on teaching and learning, and control. Control, of course, important. Do standardized tests have their place. But they should not dominate the educational culture. They are needed for diagnosis.

They can help you. (Applause) If I go to a medical examination, I want to study were standardized. True. That is, I want to know their cholesterol level in comparison with others, on a standard scale. I don't need results on some scale that my doctor took from the ceiling.


"On my scale you have the "orange" cholesterol".


"Really? Is that good?" "We don't know."


But all this should promote learning, not hinder, as is often the case. And instead of curiosity we have a culture of compliance. Our children and teachers to push in order to follow standard algorithms instead of to awaken the power of imagination and curiosity. The third principle is that creativity is an integral part of human life.

That's why we all have different summary. We build our lives, and living them, we're rebuilding them. It is a General principle of human existence. That is why human culture is so interesting, diverse and dynamic. I mean, other animals can easily possess imagination and creativity, but it's not as obvious as we do, right? Now, let's say you have a dog. The dog may appear depressed. But she won't listen to Radiohead, right? (Laughter) And sit staring out the window with a bottle of Jack Daniels. (Laughter)


You ask: "do you want to walk?"


And the dog replies, "No, I'm good. But you go, take a walk. I'll wait for you. And pofotografirovat something."


We create their lives in the relentless process of presenting options and possibilities, and one of the tasks of education is to awaken and develop these creative skills. Instead we have a culture of standardization.


But it doesn't have to be that way. Yes, it should not be. Finland is regularly among the first on mathematics, science and reading. We only know that they succeeded, because only it now and check it out. This is one of the problems with inspections. They do not take into account other indicators that are no less important. In Finland, all here's the thing: they do not focus only on these subjects. They have a very broad view on education which includes Humanities, physical education, fine arts.


Secondly, Finland has no standardized control. That is, something is, but that's not why they get up in the morning. Not because they are sitting at their desks.


And thirdly, recently I was meeting with people from Finland, i.e. Finnish, and some of the American education system asked people from Finland: "what are you doing in Finland with the number of people who drop out of school?"


Is their a bit puzzled, and they said, "we Have no such. Why leave school? If people have difficulties, we seek rather to help and support them."


There are always those who will say: "But you understand that you can't compare Finland to America".


No, you cannot. If I'm not mistaken, the population of Finland is about five million. But it can be compared with the American state. The population of many States in America less than in Finland. I mean, I've been in some American States, and except me there was nobody there. (Laughter) True. Moving away from somewhere I had to lock the doors. (Laughter).


But signs of activity like that that are the most successful in the world system today, unfortunately, is not observed in the American system. I mean, in General. First, they use individual approach in teaching and learning. They recognize that students are learning and the system needs to attract them with their curiosity, their individuality and creativity. So they engage in the learning process.


Second, they are very attach great importance of the teaching profession. They understand that it is impossible to improve education, if not to recruit a teacher of talented people, and if not give them a continuous support and does not contribute to their professional growth. Investing in professional growth is not cost. It's an investment, and in all other prosperous countries are well aware of this, be it Australia, Canada, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong or Shanghai. They know that the secret to their success.


And third, they moved the responsibility for the work done at the school level.Understand, there is a big difference from the regime command and control in education. This happens on some systems: the Central government decides or the government decides that better knows and intends to indicate to all what to do.

The only problem is that the educational process happens not in conference rooms and not in the legislative institutions. It takes place in classrooms and schools, and the people exercising it are teachers and students, and if you deprive them of freedom of action, this process will stop working.Need to return it to the people. (Applause).


In this country is a wonderful job. But I have to say, it is contrary to the dominant educational culture, not because of it. People like going sailing all the time against the wind. And the reason, I think, is that many current methods are based on a mechanical view of education.

Like education is an industrial process to improve which is enough only to locate desired information, and somewhere, perhaps, in the depths of the brain of some authors of such methods sits an idea that if all the good debug if that is done correctly, then everything is fine to play out and incur in the future. But it is not, and never has been.


The point is that education is not a mechanical system. It is a human system. It is about people, people who either want to learn or don't learn. Everyone drop out of school student has a reason rooted in his biography. Perhaps they are boring. Perhaps they believe that they do not need.

Perhaps they believe that it is incompatible with the life they lead outside the school. There are trends, but every story is unique. Recently I had a meeting in Los Angeles on alternative educational programs. These programs are designed to attract children back to school. They have certain common features. They are individualized.

They provide strong support for the teachers, close links with the environment and extensive and diverse curriculum, and often there are programs to which students are involved both during school hours and in the rest of the time. And it works. And, most interesting to me is the fact that it is called "alternative education." You know? And data from around the world say that if you do so, no alternative would not be necessary. (Applause)


So, I think you need to find a different metaphor. We must admit that it is a human system and that there are conditions under which people thrive, and conditions under which this occurs. In the end, we are all biological creatures, and the school culture we have a completely natural. Culture — is a biological term?


Not far from where I live, there are so-called Valley of Death. Death valley is the hottest and driest place in America where nothing grows. There was nothing growing, because there is not raining. Therefore, Death Valley. But in the winter of 2004 in Death Valley, it was raining. In a very short time, dropped 18 inches of rain. And in the spring of 2005 was a unique occurrence.

The whole territory of the Valley of Death for some time covered with flowers. This proves that Death Valley is not dead. She's just in hibernation. Just beneath the surface are seeds of possibilities that are awaiting the necessary conditions to grow, and in biological systems under the right conditions inevitably grows life. It's always happening.

Take the territory, school district, change the environment, change people's ideas about their capabilities, give them a different set of expectations, a broader range of opportunities, and if you nurture and appreciate the relationships between teachers and students, give people the freedom of creativity and innovation in their activities, then the school, once hopeless, again come to life.


Great leaders know it. The real role of leadership in education — I think this is true nationally, at the state level and at school level — should not be limited to team management. The real role of leadership is climate control, creating a favorable climate for possibilities. And if you create it, people to this potyanutsya will achieve what you did not expect and could not expect.


Ken Robinson: We are educating children from creativityWhat to read: top 5 books by Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Benjamin Franklin is a remarkable statement: "In the world there are three types of people: nondisplacement: those that have not, do not want to have and nothing is going to do with it; there is a shift: those who are aware of the need for change and are willing to listen to her; and there are those who move: those that embody all life." And if we can inspire more people, it will be a whole movement. And if this movement is strong enough, it will be a revolution in the best sense of the word. And that's what we need.


Thank you very much. (Applause).published




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