Sir Ken Robinson, an English author and adviser to governments on education, spoke with CBS on Tuesday about how schools can be more effective for students.
“If you engage children’s imaginations, their curiosity, you get them working on teams, you get them doing practical work — it’s a very different dynamic in schools,” Robinson said.
Robinson has been working in education for three decades in the United Kingdom and United States. He gave a TED Talk in 2006 titled “How Schools Kill Creativity” which has been viewed more than 32 million times. A book he wrote with Lou Aronica, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education, on the innovative ways schools are handling lessons, was published this year.
“The culture of education literally is all about standardizing,” Robinson told CBS. “It’s alienating teachers, it’s alienating kids, and it’s not doing the job.”
Schools need to make education more personalized, Robinson said. Because everyone is different, they learn in ways that need to be individually addressed. He said there are ways to do this, even in large classrooms, by motivating students creatively.
Robinson pointed to the Boston Arts Academy, which he discusses further in his book, an inner-city school that has been successful while focusing on music, theater and dance. Two factors that lead to this success are a broad curriculum and flexibility in teaching. Both encourage students with a variety of learning techniques.
“Teachers are there to engage and motivate and inspire people,” Robinson said. “Great teachers do that.”