Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Could Superman Be Sir Ken Richardson?

Watch this video for a completely different look at where our educational system should be heading...

Posted by: Noël Jones

First of all, the bad news. The documentary Waiting for Superman about the demise of our public education system has still not reached our area. The good news? You can watch it on Netflix already.

But on a brighter note, this animation video (pictured above) by Sir Ken Richardson is a brilliant example of the kind of divergent thinking we need to be able to do as a society if we are ever going to steer our educational system into a new and successful paradigm.

I'd love to get readers' responses to this--I loved it both for the ideas expressed, and the animation.


Dennis R. Lieb said...

The video (and the animation method for presenting the info) are great and he hits on one absolutely crucial issue that has bothered me for long time; the provision of textbooks and learning regimes that are purely and simply the realm of corporate interests.

It has been common practice for a very long time for textbooks to be selected, edited and pushed down teachers' throats by corporate entities, despite the fact that they have been sanitized of all controversial issues or any opportunity to leave room for alternative views of the situation. This disallows any real learning to take place since it removes the conversations about other possible reasons or outcomes (the "divergent thinking" part) from the classroom.

Of course a teacher could attempt to initiate this process themselves but then are at risk of falling behind in the lesson plan (over-regimented, No Child Left Behind nonsense) or being stigmatized as a trouble maker by the administration for not playing by the rules. All of this comes back to corporate control of every aspect of our country - including education.

We are trained to ignore it, desensitized to it's damage, but once made aware there is no further excuse to continue allowing it. From the banking mess on down to tax breaks for billionaires, we are back in the 1890's again. Creating the next generation of automatons to continue their roles as low pay service workers, war machine cannon fodder and pliable consumers is what it's all about. Our school systems aren't really failing...they are doing exactly what they are designed for.


noel jones said...

It makes me wonder about our Independent congressional candidate's idea that the federal Dept. of Education should be abolished. When a lot of people heard this, they recoiled, as if what was suggested was "educating our youth is not important."

What Jake Towne actually suggested was that the Dept. of Ed has only been in existence for the last 30 years and is a bloated bureaucracy that has not only failed our youth, as education has actually gotten worse in this country under federal direction, but forces citizens to pay additional taxes, only for states to have to apply for the money back to fund our schools. Then we have the cookie-cutter federally standardized tests that teachers end up forced to teach to, rather than being free to use their creativity and passion to teach in a way that is meaningful to students. Why not eliminate this department--all its salaries and pensions that we pay millions for to no avail--and fund our schools directly at a state or local level, setting our own curriculum and standards?

Why is this a crazy idea? Our youth were more educated before the advent of the federal Dept. of Education 30 years ago than they are now.

Anonymous said...

Why do you refer to Ken Robinson as Ken Richardson? Doesn't he deserve credit under his true name?