February 17, 2013

Interview with Ken Robinson

In an interview in 'the Guardian Professor Ken Robinson was interviewed.

Some of his statements:
"All children start their school careers with sparkling imaginations, fertile minds, and a willingness to take risks with what they think," he says. "Most students never get to explore the full range of their abilities and interests ... Education is the system that's supposed to develop our natural abilities and enable us to make our way in the world. Instead, it is stifling the individual talents and abilities of too many students and killing their motivation to learn."

Robinson, who now earns his living as a speaker on creativity, does not blame the teachers. "It's the system - it's too linear," he says. Schools are obsessed with rigid timetables, for starters. "If you live in a world where every lesson is 40 minutes, you immediately interrupt the flow of creativity," he says. "We need to eliminate the existing hierarchy of subjects. Elevating some disciplines over others only reinforces outmoded assumptions of industrialism and offends the principle of diversity. The arts, sciences, humanities, physical education, languages and maths all have equal and central contributions to make to a student's education."

In fact, the entire notion of "subjects" needs to be questioned, he says. "The idea of separate subjects that have nothing in common offends the principle of dynamism. School systems should base their curriculum not on the idea of separate subjects, but on the much more fertile idea of disciplines ... which makes possible a fluid and dynamic curriculum that is interdisciplinary."

Robinson believes the curriculum should be much more personalised. "Learning happens in the minds and souls, not in the databases of multiple-choice tests." And why are we so fixated by age groups, he asks. Let a 10-year-old learn with their younger and older peers.

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