Our five-year-old son started kindergarten a few months ago, and it hasn’t exactly been a smooth transition. Things are improving, I think, but this whole thing has got me thinking about the function of education in our society. Such a high premium seems to be placed on discipline and conformity.
This is partly why the work of Sir Ken Robinson increasingly resonates with me. Robinson argues, among other things, that our current educational system is designed to meet the challenges of the last couple of centuries instead of the challenges of today. In other words, it is set up to produce assembly-line drones or docile cubicle dwellers. I guess I have slightly higher ambitions for my children.
Of course, the other reason Robinson’s stuff resonates with me is because I’m an educator myself. It’s important for all of us teachers–from K-12 through college–to reflect on what exactly it is we think we’re preparing our students for. Below are videos of a couple of Robinson’s talks.