April 23, 2013

A brief introduction to Sir Ken Robinson

If you’re just beginning to explore alternative learning, or are looking for facts and figures to make your case for a personalized educational pursuit, meet Sir Ken Robinson. These provocative resources will equip you with strategies to identify and develop your unique talents, and the philosophical case for why you should.

Robinson articulates the flaws of an education system that treats all students as though they’re interchangeable, offering minimal variation in course material or instructional style. Refreshingly, he doesn’t just define a problem and point fingers at the sources: He offers excellent suggestions for alternatives.

In 2006, Sir Ken Robinson delivered a TED talk on individualized learning, proposing that schools kill creativity by offering a uniform learning experience. After being viewed more than 14 million times, he followed it up with another popular presentation on the learning revolution, focused on the economic value and necessity of developing individual talent. Robinson boldly proposes that this meaningful pursuit should be the focus of education.

Before planning your own educational adventure, you may want to read up on his work. In his 2009 book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, he encourages readers to find “the meeting point between natural aptitude and personal passion.” While it may seem idealistic, Robinson discusses how the future of our economy actually depends on individuals making this transition to highly individualized creative work. His 2012 book Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative discusses the history of traditional education…and how over 100 years later, it’s still based on the industrial-era factory model.

Inevitably, deviating from the established path raises questions. Sir Ken Robinson is a credible source, whose research and point of view will help you answer questions about the reasons for taking your education in your own hands.

By Laurah Hagen

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