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Educate by Element

January 20, 2010 Leave a comment

I have been struck yet again by the thoughts of Sir Ken Robinson. This guy is absolutely brilliant! The new video I watched today is below. It’s long but WONDERFUL! I highly recommend taking the time to watch it.

Sir Ken Robinson from NYSCATE on Vimeo.

Now, I really don’t see where this has so much to do with Instructional Design in the sense that I work with it. But as a parent, this really struck a chord. I was lucky enough with my son (first born) to not run into much of a problem in school. He is a fairly well-rounded child who loves to learn just about anything put in front of him. Other than an attention problem, he is the public school system’s perfect child.

My daughter is not the same. She is a good kid and everyone tends to tell me how sweet she is but she has no desire to learn to read or count or write. Mind you, this isn’t because she isn’t smart enough to; it is because, since the age of 2, she has decided that she will do everything on HER time schedule. She can read, when she feels like it. She can count by 5’s like a pro but by 2’s only every other day. Basically, she is having a very hard time in school because they haven’t yet broken her will (she’s in 1st grade) and she still believes she will do it when SHE feels like doing it.

However, she loves babies, children, socializing, and animals. I have no problems getting her to read if I tell her she needs to read her babies a story. If there was some way the school system could take advantage of this fact, my world would be a better place. And I have a good feeling I’m not alone.

Revolutionize schools to teach to kids’ elements (as Sir Ken Robinson calls them). This world needs a variety of people in it, there is no reason everyone needs to learn exactly the same things in school at the same age. Yes, everyone needs to be able to read to a certain level and usually need to know some math and science but why in the world do we force it upon everyone in the same way at the same age as if they were all being trained for the same job?

I wish I knew a way to change the schools to better fit the students rather than trying to fit the students to the schools. Life would be so much more enjoyable for everyone.