Sunday, March 31, 2013

Learning versus Education ... Thinking versus Compliance

If you are interested in education or if you are an educator or if you are entangled in education (as a student or as a parent or as tax payer), you might find the accompanying 15-minute video to be either very disturbing or quite exhilarating (maybe even both). Whatever your response might be, I believe that truth is being given expression through this video.

The video has two parts. The first section is a four-minute talk given at a graduation ceremony by the school valedictorian, Erica Goldson. It is a brilliant talk, and one can't but wonder if anyone in the audience or among the school staff attending the event or even among the other students who are graduating on that occasion is listening to her ... and if they are not, they are missing an opportunity to learn important principles since there is great wisdom being expressed through her words.

The quality of the first part of the video is not that good. However, what is important are the words and not the visual dimension ... although I do wonder what the couple on the right seem to be talking about every now and then.

An eleven minute presentation by Sir Ken Robinson follows the foregoing 4-minute talk. It, too, is brilliant (and so is the accompanying animation).

The latter talk nicely complements the first one. It outlines the many ways in which public education has lost its way ... becoming little more than an institutional factory for mass-producing students to become compliant, conforming citizens who can be taught to serve the economy but who have little capacity for either critical or divergent thinking, and whose curiosity about life or passion for learning have been sucked from their souls.

Learning is so much more than education will permit it to be. Human potential is so much more than the limits which education has placed upon it. 

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