Journal Entry 2: Reflection on YouTube Video-RSA Animate-Changing Education Paradigms
Sir Ken Robinson argues in the video, “Changing Education Paradigms” that in the current day and age many students are being educated NOT to be creative and divergent thinkers but good workers. He discusses how students are being educated as if they were a part of an assembly line in a factory and not based on their curiosities and energies. He demonstrates how education is grouped in a hierarchy of subjects and the least amount of emphasis or value is being placed on the arts. He also points out that our society is producing individuals with the assumption that with the current education system the learners are enhancing their critical thinking skills and would think so are their divergent thinking skills; however, he indicates with the results of a longitudinal study that the findings were very different. He challenges the viewers to think differently about the human capacity, old conceptions of education, learning and our culture of our learning institutions.
After watching the video, I admit that I was really dumbfounded at first. I knew that our educational system was far from perfect; however, hearing about some of the points he was making about our society and institutions were indeed startling. I also remember feeling dumb as I felt like I was living in a bubble and not noticing and really thinking about some of the problems he pointed out (the fact that so many students are being medicated and that finding a job even post education is a significant problem (I was aware of this but didn’t really think too much about it)).
Robinson presents a very captivating critique of our current educational paradigm. He demonstrates the disjunction that exists between the learning capacity of individuals, our society, our conceptions of education and our educational paradigms. He points out the common thought that many have is built on an illusion. Also, how the notion that by obtaining a college education or furthering ones’ education that one will be guaranteed a job is false. He also suggests that if we truly are interested in learning we should encourage and teach our learners based on not what is standard but support what they demonstrate interest in.
As a learning facilitator I would ensure that do my best in encouraging divergent thinking. Robison really rattles the fundamentals of the current educational paradigms. Incorporating such way of teaching and learning is no less easy feat. As Another Cody discuses in “Sir Ken Robinson Shakes Up the Standards Paradigm” as much as he would like to, “toss every structure out and start from the ground up, with a fresh eye that values lots of different ways of learning, and of expressing understanding. This is HARD!” (Cody, 2011). To completely abolish the current system we have in place is a daunting task that requires courage and collaboration with other visionaries. As suggested by KDM Gadowsky (an educator-in response to Anthony’s article) there are ways to go about to make these overdue changes as a learning facilitator:
“Ideas about how to do this and create a clearer vision:
Overall – join forces!
1) fostering re-visioning activities between stakeholders
2) have teachers communicate and work with their unions to find ways to allow innovative ideas to be tested with union support
3) educating the public (more importantly dispelling myths) about what is appropriate child development and educational practice (what Sir Ken and others are attempting to do)
4) have the voting public demand that governments attend to updating the education system they pay so dearly for (requires organizers who are good social networkers)
5) pressure provincial and state governments to allow more school-based decisions to be made” (Cody, 2011)
As a learning facilitator I can do my best to foster divergent thinking in my classroom, which, typically occurs “in a spontaneous, free-flowing manner, such that the ideas are generated in a random, unorganized fashion. “ (Strategies of Divergent Thinking, Date unkown). I can use/encourage some of the following techniques in my classroom to stimulate divergent thinking: brainstorming, keeping a journal, free writing, mind or subject mapping. These strategies are also mentioned in, “Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty” by Elizabeth F. Barkley (2010).
I know that I will do my best to implement the above suggestions in my classroom and my pass the suggestions and ideas along to my colleges and superiors. I do not want to be a part of a public system failing our children; but be a part of this progressive way of teaching and learning
Barkley, E. F. (2010). Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Cody, A. (2011, Jan. 28). Sir Ken Robinson Shakes Up the Standards Paradigm. Retrieved from http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2011/01/sir_ken_robinson_shakes_up_the.html
RSA Animate-Changing Education Paradigms [Video Fie]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U&feature=player_embedded&list=PL817E8F0
Strategies of Divergent Thinking. (Date unknown). [website]. Retrieved from http://faculty.washington.edu/ezent/imdt.htm