Some books you just inhale, and this is one of them. I have loved Ken Robinson since his first ted.talk where he speaks to how schools kill creativity. Viewed over 33 million times, you might say it struck a collective nerve. His latest book does it again. One of my colleagues mentioned it to me today and I grabbed it on Kindle almost immediately. Over dinner, I read. Feed the body and feed the soul.
He speaks of the need for revolution by thinking of how schools current work (or most don’t actually), asking what counts as a school and how we might tell a different story about education. Why? His words. “If you design a system to do something specific, don’t be surprised if it does it. If you run an education system based on standardization and conformity that suppresses individuality, imagination and creativity, don’t be surprised if that’s what it does.” This books belongs in the hands of every parent who is worried about their child’s education. It belongs in the hands of every teacher who is passionate about their students – who knows that educare means to ‘draw forth’ NOT stuff in. We need to stop the profit focus on what has been called “educational puppy mills”. If you care about educational reform, this book is a recipe for revolution. Other countries are paying attention and have transformed their educational system.
Ken Robinson is one of my favorites on ted.com. His original ted talk in 2006 on how our school system kills creativity is worth watching. His second performance at Ted in 2010, Robinson’s focus is on our crisis in human resources – the lack of creativity. He states that human resources are like natural resources – they are buried deep and you have to go digging for them. He calls for a revolution in education and I cannot agree more. Our schools are failing to develop the levels of creativity and innovation necessary to move us out of this economic crisis. Robinson compares our current education system to fast food where everything is standardized to the lowest common denominator. We need to do better if we are to survive.
In his new book, The Element, Robinson interviews some of the most successful people on the planet to discover how found a way to live their passion and survive. His point rests on our need for communities that have a diversity of talent, not a singular conception of ability. If we focus on our passion – that which excites our spirit and our energy – what a difference it makes to the health and wealth of our organizations and our communities.