Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blog Post #12

Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson is an author, educator, and creativity expert who challenges the way we are educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems in order to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligences.

What Can We Learn from Sir Ken Robinson? -Dr. Strange

Changing Education Paradigims

The current system of education was designed for a different age group that lived in a different time period, but honestly, when would useless facts, such as facts we studied for on the ACT and the Alabama High School Graduation Exam, ever get anybody, anywhere, during any time period? In this video, we have learned how important it is to evolve our teaching methods throughout the course of our careers in order to prepare our students in the best way possible for their futures. Sir Ken Robinson challenged all the thoughts behind the rapid diagnosis of children being ADHD. Yes, we do believe ADHD is a real disorder, but who doesn’t get fidgety listening to a boring lecture for an hour? Why would a child be stimulated in the least bit from hearing his/her teacher talk nonstop? Yes, a child will get fidgety and easily distracted if the classroom environment is not engaging enough! Children are naturally curious. It is so important for us as future educators to take an honest look around us and soak up what our world consists of these days in order to prepare our students for their future. The children we will be teaching are immersed in technology. As future educators, we have to make a connection between the content we are teaching and the real world. In order for our teaching to be effective, our students must be able to relate to the material and the tools being used during a lesson.

Authors: Brylyn Cowling and Stephanie Faison

How to Escape Education's Death Valley

One of the major crises in education is the dropout rate. The Native American society has an 80% drop out rate, and the American society has a 60% drop out rate. Sir Ken Robinson then mentions how this affects the economies. The drop out rate does not include the students still in school that are disengaged in learning. America spends more money on education than any other country on taking initiative and trying to improve education, but the problem with education is that it is going in the wrong direction. Sir Ken Robinson then summarizes three important principles that are crucial for the human mind to flourish, but are contradicted by the current culture of education.

The first principle is that ALL students are naturally diverse. An issue with the No Child Left Behind Act is that it forces teachers to follow standards that promote Math and Science. “Education under No Child Left Behind Act is not based on diversity but conformity.” -Sir Ken Robinson. According to Sir Ken Robinson, these areas of study are necessary, but not sufficient. Students are being evaluated on what they can do across a very narrow spectrum. Education should be equally weighted through the Arts, Physical Education, and Humanities as well. Students prosper by a broad curriculum that encourages their various talents and engages them in the learning process.

The second principle is about curiosity. Students will adopt this principle if the teachers will only give them a chance to be curious. Sir Ken Robinson mentions that teaching is not a “delivery system.” Teachers are not here to deliver information to the students, although that is basically what our education through grade school consisted of. Instead of “telling” your students, “allow” your students to dig deep in order to strike curiosity. We feel as if so much “telling” takes place, and not enough “allowing” takes place. Yes, teachers should deliver received information, but they should do so in an engaging and thought-provoking way.

The third principle is about creativity. A very important role of education is to awaken the students’ imagination and in order to encourage creativity. Students must be given opportunities to be creative. This shouldn’t be a hard task in an elementary school classroom! We think that giving students a voice/choice will strike their imagination and provoke creativity.

Authors: Brylyn Cowling and Stephanie Faison

How Schools Kill Creativity

There is a sad trend in schools today. More and more focus is being placed on Mathematics and Literature, and the Arts are being left behind. The Arts are just as important as any other subject, but they are treated as though they are unnecessary. Something that Sir Ken Robinson said in this video was incredibly profound, and was the subject of a great deal of conversation in our group. That statement was, “If you aren’t prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.” How many times have you had an idea and thought “No, that’ll never work” and remained silent? When the teacher asks questions in the classroom, how many of us are silent, and avoid meeting his/her gaze for fear of being called upon? It’s not that none of us have any thoughts, but we are too scared to share them for the fear of them being "wrong." Sir Robinson also said, “In education, it is stereotypical that a mistake is the worst thing you can make.” If we train our students that mistakes are wrong, and then turn around and ask them to share their ideas, how can we honestly expect them to open themselves to criticism? We have to encourage creativity. It is a vital skill that not only applies in the classroom! Creativity is one of the building blocks of problem solving. If you run up against a problem with a solution in mind, and that solution doesn’t pan out, what do you do? Come up with another solution! If we hamper our students’ ability to think outside the box, how are they going to succeed in life? We need to rethink the way our students are taught. Every student is an individual. They are their own person.

Authors: Brylyn Cowling and Stephanie Faison

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