In this TED talk, Sir Ken Robinson (world-renowned education and creativity expert) argues that our current public educational systems and institutions are outdated. They emerged out of a fundamentally different social, intellectual and economic context: the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution. But times have changed and the disconnect between an outdated education system and contemporary social realities causes chaos, privileging some but alienating the vast majority of the population. Education is increasingly standardized and about conformity, and kids, who are living in the most stimulating age in history, fail to see the point of going to school, which is about ‘finding the right answers to pass the tests’ rather than about stimulating divergent thinking.
Every country on earth is in the process of reforming its education system. There are two reasons for this: The first is economic – countries are trying to figure out how to prepare children for work when we simply don’t know what work will look like in the future. The second is cultural – countries are trying to figure out how to pass on their ‘cultural genes’ while at the same time having to respond to globalization. But our current education systems are not fit for the future due to many reasons but in summary:
- The education system is rooted in an industrial paradigm.
- We medicate our kids to get them through education.
- The education system kills creativity.
We need to do the following to shift the industrial-capitalist education paradigm:
- Destroy the myth that there is a divide between academic and non academic subjects, and between the abstract and the theoretical.
- Recognize that most great learning takes place in groups – collaboration is the stuff of growth, rather than individualizing people which separates them from their natural learning environment.
- We need to change the habitual ways of thinking of those within the education system and the habitats which they occupy.