I’ve finally got round to reading the following book Out of Our Minds by Sir Ken Robinson. This book is a must for anyone working in education. I expect most readers will have come across Sir Ken via his various lectures (many on YouTube) for TED. If not – then I recommend you do so.
I’m not going to try to precis Out of Our Minds – it’s too finely detailed and compelling for that. But I do need to share some relief at the fact that someone out there has so brilliantly articulated the miasma of faults currently undermining the UK (and probably many other western) governments’ approach to education and so-called curriculum transformation. Sir Ken’s main premise is that without excellent creativity skills, and the ability to innovate, our children will fail to live up to the complex and terrifying challenges of the next 100 (or even 50) years. An interview with Chris Woodhead in the most recent TES only emphasised this – (he’s still blathering on about academic knowledge being more important than skills development). Our current education policy developers have completely failed to acknowledge much of what Sir Ken is saying (or indeed what the CEO of IBM recently said, and what pretty well every successful entrepreneur and businessman agrees with): namely, that without a set of good creativity, problem solving and entrepreneurial skills, our children are going to fail to find solutions to a whole range of issues from energy needs to food to population growth, in the coming decades.
Mr Gove thinks we need to learn more historical facts – the names of English Kings and Queens and their dates has been muted as a typical knowledge set that our kids need to acquire. Tragic but true – and a ridiculous return to the type of Gradgrind educational idiocy that has eroded this country’s ability to generate new wealth or industry (ref Hard Times, Charles Dickens). He’s also been quoted as saying he thinks mobile phones should be banned in the classroom (even more depressing and reactionary..)
Anyway – Sir Ken can say it all much better than me..go have a read…