I think I could sit and listen to Sir Ken Robinson all day, every day. He is just so enlightening and dryly hysterical. Watching these videos did not necessarily alter my learning philosophy but rather reinforced my belief that our current state of education needs an overhaul. Sir Robinson made excellent points about what motivates the learner (autonomy, mastery and purpose) and making sure we consider and engage the learner’s passion. Sir Ken compared this passion to how it feels when you are doing something you love at work. You look down and the time has flown by! However, the same rings true when you are doing something you dread (or are even neutral about) – time seems to stand still or move at a snail’s pace!
Now I will argue that the overall message is not difficult to understand – We all need to feel purpose, the desire to improve (mastery) and the ability to be self-directed and in charge of our pace and path of learning. We can all agree that the education system is built similar to a factory model – conformity, cookie cutter delivery of information that limits student potential. Sir Ken states that education needs to feed our spirits and our passion. We should change to an education model that is less industrial and more agricultural in nature. The educators create the best environment, customize to the circumstances, personalize for the students and then watch the learner grow! However, neither speaker addresses the additional challenge of accountability. I am starting to think that this is the one caveat that is holding back the ability to overhaul the current education system. I do not think anyone can argue either point made by the authors but how do we reconcile, measure and reward growth or learning that is uniform enough to hold everyone accountable to a specific quality and standard. Every industry seems to have some type of oversight and standard – government, automotive, pharmaceutical, stock market, FDA – that is responsible for ensuring safety, efficacy and security. Education would need oversight to verify it is regulated and protected (and not micromanaged like it has become!). I wish I had an answer or potential solution – but I can attest that my brain juices are flowing as I look at this learning revolution and my desire to make lasting changes to the system in a new light. Like a puzzle that has moving pieces – we can keep rearranging the pieces but the picture won’t be complete if every one working on the puzzle doesn’t know what “it” (true, deep, meaningful learning) is supposed to look like in the end! Or is it one of those 3D puzzles that can morph and shift depending on how it is put together? Perhaps the accountability piece is what needs to be tossed out the window but isn’t that completely terrifying with absolutely no oversight or support in this ever-changing world!