Categories : Weekly Blog
Sir Ken Robinson is a bold innovator in education and the way how we approach learning in schools. His accolades include a knighthood received in 2003 from Queen Elizabeth II, speaking at numerous TED talk events, bestselling books on the subject and an upcoming stint as the keynote speaker in 2018’s Future of Education Technology Conference.
Read on for an overview of Robinson’s exciting ideas and how you can implement them:
Schools Kill Creativity
Robinson asserts in one of his TED talks (2006) that school is geared towards creating university professors, right from the beginning. While the claim may initially sound outlandish, his arguments are compelling: students are rewarded for silently obeying orders, slaving away at their desks on their own notes and classwork. Those who are able to read and absorb information, particularly in silence, are rewarded.
But what about the many, many individuals who not only will not require flawless reading comprehension, but are simply not built in a way that makes them eager to master conventional schooling in the first place? Robinson provides an example of a fidgeting, energetic child, in a time where no AD/HD diagnoses yet existed. Long story short, a sympathetic educator changed her life, moving her to a dancing school which ultimately lead to her becoming a highly successful choreographer.
Learning to be Wrong
One of Robinson’s great realizations is the fact that young children are fearless when doing anything. They are not afraid to be wrong, while older kids and students learn to be cautious of failure. This effectively becomes a vicious cycle, as students unversed in conventional academic learning will shy away from even attempting to learn due to their past failures. There is one answer to each question, and you are always told when you are wrong.
But what if education gave equal importance to creativity and the pure ability to be wrong? Robinson has no problem with classical education when it comes to STEM subjects and other topics that are well-suited to it. Instead, he calls out for placing creative subjects on equal ground with conventional topics. After all, not everyone can become a university professor. What’s the point of education if it neither effectively serves society or the individual?
Getting Better: Transforming Education
There is no single, amazing fix to revolutionize education. We must also recognize that much about education is decidedly already pretty great. The famous Flynn Effect (the steady increase in universal IQ, at approximately 3 points each decade) has been probably brought about by improving education and more intellectually demanding employment. Yet, student happiness has declined, and it seems that student happiness is a crucial indicator of academic success.
So we must seek ways to personalize education, enrich our view of learning and simply provide more ways than one to do. Thankfully, it has never been easier. Teachers have access to better resources than ever before, with many classrooms equipped with projectors, computers, speakers and innovative learning spaces. This is where we come in: we provide the best option for classroom games.
TeacherGaming Deskify Your Life
Our TeacherGaming Desk is simply the easiest way to bring educational video games to the classroom. Teachers do not need to be gamers themselves to use the games (so there is no that pesky aforementioned fear of failure involved!). Students who are already spending time playing video games would welcome the chance to do so at school as well, and there definitely exists some manner of link between games and academic success.
The best way to learn is by learning in the ways you want to learn. Every lesson cannot be spent playing games, dancing or throwing a football around, but neither should students be confined to rot in the classroom for hours upon hours. Transforming education starts with small, decisive steps and reaps significant benefits for everyone involved.
Come Share Your Thoughts at FETC 2018!
Like mentioned above, you can go hear more about Sir Ken Robinson's philosophy at the Future of Education Technology Conference on January 23-26.
Better yet, you can come chat with us at TeacherGaming afterwards at booth 1159H in the Game-Based Learning Pavilion! See you there!