Divergent Thinking and Holistic Perspective

“Collaboration is the stuff of growth.” ~ Sir Ken Robinson

Anyone concerned about the future of the world should spend time considering how we educate our children. I have friends who have children in different educational programs – public schools, private schools, Montessori programs, home schools, international schools. religious schools and so on and I know that they would all agree on at least one thing: education is important.

I came across this presentation by Sir Ken Robinson, a remarkable presenter I wrote about months ago in my post called “Bring on the Learning Revolution.” This lecture is well worth the next eleven minutes of your day:

I’ve long felt that education should be more about drawing out the inherent value, talents, radiance, etc. from children than it should be about stuffing them full of facts and figures that will hopefully be useful at some later date. Individuality creative expression suffers in our current system, and this unnatural homogenization is resulting in a pressure that our youth are increasingly incapable of bearing and navigating.

It appears that the presentation stops before you hear Sir Robinson’s suggestions as to how we might best revitalize education in this new era, but I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter!

8 thoughts on “Divergent Thinking and Holistic Perspective

  1. jaymorrow

    Makes me wince when I think of my education and what my children were subjected to.
    If we’re past school age it’s still not too late; we’re always in the education mode in most businesses, we call it training. We can start to change this system by how we approach all education.
    It looks so obvious as he lays it out but the “blinders” of habit and tradition have to be removed.


  2. Kolya

    This is definitely an idea worth spreading. I think part of the reason our educational system has developed this way is that it’s “easy” to maintain and to control (a cookie cutter mentality). There is a fear that if we don’t have rules, then there will be chaos, but as Sir Ken Robinson pointed out, there already is chaos and the factory mentality is killing genius and creativity.

    One example of a new opportunity we have to revitalize education in our era is through online tools which are fun, exciting and collaborative. Children are naturally hungry to learn and understand and if we can help to create the right environment for them, who knows what genius could be unleashed!


  3. Colin

    I really enjoyed this presentation, as well as his last one that you highlighted. He is absolutely right about the factory origins of primary education. There is a lack of sense in modern educational methods. From mandatory standardized testing to zero tolerance programs, there is too much rigidity because the people that run the system are not trusted to make the right decisions, for fear of liability. These are sensible recommendations that he is making, and the fact is that if the U.S. (or the U.K.) want to remain competitive in the world of education, they will have to make some of these changes.


  4. Reina

    Thanks for the post. I agree very much with your thoughts. It is hard when your a young child sits crying, day by day, because she is having a hard time with school. Her creative ability goes beyond a normal level but her light dims due to the unrelenting challenge that is ever present in the current school system. Hopefully one day we can find a solution for these little ones. Thanks!


  5. Mac

    What an amazing video clip!

    Years ago, I developed a preschool program for children ages 2 to 5. My focus was on drawing out the innate intelligence of each child so I set up 13 different learning areas in 2000 square feet of space. The areas included tactile art, pretend play with dress up clothes, spatial relatations, a library with big comfy pillows, etc. My role was to observe and encourage kids to try new things. I noticed that based on a child’s unique design, they would tend to gravitate to certain areas and to widen their breadth and knowledge we would encourage them to explore other areas. Many times that was done by bringing something they knew and loved from one area into a learning area they totally avoided. In doing this, the child relaxed and eventually would spend more time in a wider variety of learning centers. The program was so popular that word spread throughout the local school system and a waiting list soon formed . Almost all of the kids enrolled in the program were teacher’s kids. It seems the easiest way to change our future is to change the way we educate our children.


  6. Graeme

    Well of course I agree wholeheartedly, education should be
    about bringing out the best of all children regardless of the
    economic and social benefits to society. Unfortunately employers
    don’t want people who can display how well they can rearrange bits
    of broken plastic into a mural, or speak at length on the greater
    value of glass marbles over plastic marbles. Employers what to see
    a tangible rewards program, such as passed examinations, University
    Degrees, Diploma’s, Certificates of higher education, something to
    make a proper gauge as to the persons ability to learn the job and
    perform at an acceptable level. From my perspective, which I doubt
    is unique, all education systems are geared toward the average
    student. Students that tax the system by being very much above or
    very much below that average are not welcome, not catered for and
    not employed. Occasionally we see entrepreneurs evolve from that
    lost to the education system, but more often than not we see the
    dregs of society fill our psychiatric hospitals and prisons. And if
    there a were not nutters and criminals to house, what would all
    those people do that work in the system that produced them? Cynical
    reality, IMO.


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