Take a look at Ken Robinson’s new talk on education paradigms through RSA Animate:
Ken Robinson is so brilliant about identifying the systemic problems in education that perpetuate and escalate ennui, lack of creativity, and the failure of wisdom to take root (that Barry Schwartz discusses in his recent TED talk).
What are the solutions to these problems?
Here are five, and they comprise the bones of a new book I’m working on about how to solve all of our problems in education and the world through a new vision of schooling:
- Embrace a new purpose for schooling: to educate a generation of solutionaries. Create curricula, courses, overarching topics, structures, clubs, and teaching approaches with this purpose always in mind.
- Abandon No Child Left Behind in favor of creative, useful assessment strategies built upon a this new goal for schooling.
- Turn teaching into a high status, highly creative, well-paying, sought-after job; have students evaluate teachers and have teachers assessed by the new goal for schooling articulated above; replace poor teachers with the great ones who will be lining up for the opportunity to have such a meaningful, important, well-funded job.
- Restructure how schools are paid for and create real school choice for every family; public funding for schooling based on zip code is inconsistent with our core values. Providing equal and adequate funding for every child that can travel with the child to any school will provide opportunities for creative school approaches to flourish and a variety of teaching and learning styles to meet the needs of each child.
- Abandon grades and excessive homework; grades can become a holy grail for kids motivated to get into prestigious colleges, but they are often an end in themselves, encouraging rote memorization (quickly forgotten) and cheating; independent work is important, but can be folded into the school day rather than requiring round-the-clock work from kids, something we don’t expect from adults. Instead, find creative and effective assessments that include narrative and evaluation of projects that serve the new goal for schooling articulated above.
Stay tuned for more.
Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education
Author of The Power and Promise of Humane Education and Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life