Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sir Ken Robinson, "Schools Kill Creativity" and "Changing Educational Paradigms"

The 301-401V class saw these videos today. I may show one or both of them to the 501 group later this year.

First, Sir Ken Robinson, "Schools Kill Creativity," then "Changing Educational Paradigms." Discussion questions for both videos are further down the page.

Much food for thought!

"Schools Kill Creativity" discussion
"Changing Education Paradigms" discussion questions:
  1. According to Ken Robinson, if you are at a dinner party and you say you work in education, why does the blood run from the faces of the others at the party? Why do they say, "Oh my God, why me? My one night out all week..."?
  2. Ken says, "But if you ask about their education, they pin you to the wall." What does he mean? And why do they do this?
  3. Who do you think Sirena is?
  4. How important is creativity, according to Robinson? In the context of education, it's as important as what?
  5. Ken told the story of the six-year-old girl drawing God. Why was the story funny? Why was it interesting?
  6. What must you be prepared for if you hope to do anything original? Do you agree with Ken Robinson? 
  7. Robinson says, "As children grow up, we start to educate them progressively from the waist up. And then we focus on their heads. And slightly to one side." Explain what he means, or give an example.
  8. Where do university professors live, according to Robinson?
  9. In most countries, the educational system was designed to serve what sector or what priority?
  10. In terms of brain structure, what is Robinson's theory explaining why women are better at multitasking? 
  11. How was Gillian Lynne's talent discovered? If she had not met that insightful doctor, what might have been her future, according to Robinson?
  12. Thinking about our own children, what is our educational task?
  1. What are the two reasons that “every country in the world” is reforming education?
  2. What “circle” are these countries trying to “square”?
  3. What was the story that kept us in school?
  4. The current system of education was created in the intellectual context of the ___ and the economic conditions of the ____.
  5. Why did some people object to the “revolutionary” idea of public education?
  6. What is Ken Robinson's objection to the idea that there is an “epidemic” of attention deficit disorder?
  7. Is there a geographic equivalent in Russia to compare with the USA's eastward trend in the frequency of ADHD diagnoses?
  8. Why is it unfair to punish children for being easily distracted in this current time period?
  9. How has industrialization affected the traditional model of education? Give some examples.
  10. What are some of the differences between children that are not provided for in the “batch” method of organizing education?
  11. What is the relationship between “creativity” and “divergent thinking”?
  12. What is the effect of education on the percentage of divergent-thinking “geniuses” as children get older? (Note: the animation doesn't show the scores of the second and third group, 32% and 10%, nor of the adults he mentioned in the original lecture: people who were 25 years old or older scored at a percentage of 2%.)

The animation ends rather abruptly with Robinson's talking about the need to transform the “habits of our institutions and the habitats they occupy.” In the original lecture, he goes on to urge a change in metaphor: from industry to agriculture.

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