I was so sad to hear about the passing of Sir Ken Robinson recently (21 August 2020). His work in the field of education innovation was truly inspiring.
Among his deep beliefs was this:
“Creativity is as important as literacy in education and we should treat it with the same status.”
His 2006 TED talk, in which he asked the question “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” is brilliant and funny and inspiring. Not surprisingly, it’s also the most-watched TED talk of all time. It’s helped me navigate my own children’s education trajectory. And I confess, I’ve watched it more times than I can count. (The answer is yes, by the way).
In it, he reminds us that the public school system was created to serve the needs of the first industrial revolution and that education today requires a completely new approach. Why? Because we don’t even know what our children’s future will look like so how on earth can we be sure we’re educating them for it?
Did you know that the top in-demand soft skill for 2020 is creativity? It’s what employers these days seek most in a candidate. So why is it that we steer our children away from creative subjects like art, drama and music and insist that they all excel in STEM subjects?
And why do we first medicate our kids for ADHD, when they might just need a learning environment that allows them to engage their whole bodies, not just their heads?
Given how education has changed in just a few months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more importantly how we’re being reminded that the way of the future is very different to how we’re living now, Sir Ken Robinson’s clarion call rings true now more than ever.
“We have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we’re educating our children.”
Rest in peace, Sir Ken Robinson. May your precious legacy live on.
Written by Melissa Fagan, freelance content writer and editor
I help traditional and digital publishers deliver engaging and informative content that resonates with their readers. Internationally qualified writer and editor with 14 years’ publishing experience.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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