Ken Robinson – Conformity, Creativity and Education’s Death Valley

Ken RobinsonThere wouldn’t be many who have not seen Sir Ken Robinson talk on Education at TED… I mean on your Laptops…. it was quite viral… both his videos on and here now there is a new one… funny and thought provoking… asking us all the questions all over again… “How well do we know our kids?” “How can we help them succeed in what they are good at?”…. telling us that dreams are not just for us but our kids also have tremendous ability to dream and the will to pursue them…

While we all nod, laugh and say we will do it…it is not that easy…. but let’s leave it there.. Because there is something else he said in this talk that caught my attention.. that kids are unique (yes we know that… we knew it before we had them)… but the education systems that are based on conformity can be so blind to this diversity…. and that’s the point.. it is a very important statement

When I heard it a sudden thought struck me…. we all have this terrible sense of conformity in ourselves that make us very wrongly judge about education, learning experience and the future of our kids………

Firstly as an Asian family (Indian to be precise) and coming from a math and science background… we often think that the best thing we are good at is to sit and stare at the computer screen all day typing on it to make software or type reminders and status updates that can force people make software….

Secondly we think that because we learned math and science we luckily have a job…. the fact is many times we have never really thought beyond it.. We have discarded our wings and our orthodox mindset is well en-route to clip those of our kids… I know people might be object.. but I don’t mean to say that an IT profession is bad… I am in it… but that’s our generation… But our kids are different.. They are different among themselves, but they are even more different from us…

Conformity Kills Creativity… The limitations we set for ourself have the unfortunate potential to adversely affect the future of our kids if we don’t start seeing life different from how we saw it years ago…… And for immigrant clowns like me in US I deal with a bigger problem…. I still sometimes treat my kids as if they go to the same school I went to in Meenchanda, Calicut… but no… They have the opportunities I never had… and by that I should also know that they have so many more ways to go unlike me….

I really don’t have an answer for all questions I now have in my mind… but maybe I am a bit more equipped to think now, thanks to Sir, Ken… Hope you will also enjoy this Talk…

Categories: Articles, Articles & Opinions, Creativity, Education, Learning, Life and Happiness

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