I loved watching Sir Ken Robinson’s Bring on the learning revolution TED talk today, and it’s exciting to see the attention it’s been getting. Anyone who knows me (in an educational context) knows that I am passionate about learner-centred education. Equipping and facilitating learners with the skills to define and direct our own learning goals – rather than having them defined for us and locked up in the Learning Management Systems of educational institutions – is of fundamental importance for education (which is why I’m spending lots of my spare time working on some life-based learning tools).
One of Ken’s main points is that “reform is of no use any more… because that’s simply improving a broken model… what we need in education is not evolution, but a revolution.” At first I thought it’s just a choice of words that motivate people more – revolutions are exciting instant changes, where as the evolution of a system is slow and boring – as I know lots of educators within institutions that share Ken’s point of view.
But then I remembered how I struggled while working in such a context – how frustrated I became while trying to bring together the needs of a group of self-paced individuals learning in a social setting with requirements of a linear assessment framework. I think I only survived the four-and-a-half years that I worked as a learning facilitator because my manager allowed me to break various rules.
The talk ends with the challenge that we need to move from an industrial model of education (linearity, conformity) to something more organic (another loaded word – but in this context just meaning that we’re enabled to grow in different directions as we flourish in our learning environment).
I think it sounds less like a revolution and more like a grass-roots movement… but either way, it’s something that I’m personally excited about and hope to be involved in in the future. Does it excite you?
BTW: Other interesting TED talks that I’ve watched lately: