On A Mission To Transform Education

Sir Ken Robinson

Do you know Sir Ken Robinson?

Doesn’t matter. [But you might want to get to know who he is].

Included here is his latest TED talk on education (that’s mostly what he talks about).

It’s called:

 “How to Escape Education’s Death Valley”.

Why I highly recommend that you watch is twofold.

One, its content is superb and is on a crucial topic – Education. More on this later.

Two, the delivery is fantastic.  Whether you are on the hook to deliver a TED talk, or whether you have any kind of public speaking assignment, there’s a lot you can learn from Sir Ken.

It easily made my list of favorite TED talks.

So, first on content, here are a few of the things he talks about and I quote –

chennai-kids“Kids prosper best with a broad curriculum that celebrates their various talents, not just a small range of them. And by the way, the arts aren’t just important because they improve math scores. They’re important because they speak to parts of children’s being which are otherwise untouched.

The second principle that drives human life flourishing is curiosity. If you can light the spark of curiosity in a child, they will learn without any further assistance, very often. Children are natural learners. It’s a real achievement to put that particular ability out, or to stifle it.Curiosity is the engine of achievement.

Now the reason I say this is because one of the effects of the current culture here, if I can say so, has been to de-professionalize teachers.There is no system in the world or any school in the country that is better than its teachers.Teachers are the lifeblood of the success of schools. 

But teaching is a creative profession.Teaching, properly conceived, is not a delivery system. You know, you’re not there just to pass on received information. Great teachers do that, but what great teachers also do is mentor, stimulate, provoke, engage. You see, in the end, education is about learning. If there’s no learning going on, there’s no education going on. And people can spend an awful lot of time discussing education without ever discussing learning. The whole point of education is to get people to learn”.

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And, now on delivery –

This talk combines wit and intellect in one fantastic package; it is one of the most engaging talks I have ever heard with dry British humor at its very best. The delivery kept me just as enthralled as its content.

Clearly, Sir Ken is talking about a topic that he is passionate about but he makes his case so very well!

I would strongly urge anyone out to do a talk, teach or present any material to take a few pointers from watching him speak. I learnt a lot and I hope to put at least some of it to use.  

And it’s not just about public speaking either. It’s about any speaking, and how you can be engaging, authentic, factual and convincing when you are interacting with anyone, including an audience of one. What’s great is how he has taken that skill to a whole new level by using it to communicate – really communicate – with a much larger audience.

Here is his TED talk again for anyone interested enough to watch and learn:

 “How to Escape Education’s Death Valley”

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Posted on May 26, 2013, in Back in US, youth and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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