Moving education from the 19th Century Factory Model to the 21st Century by Sir Ken Robinson (TED)

In these 2 videos, Sir Ken Robinson speaks sense about our education but in a challenging way.  

Have we got our education priorities right to take our businesses into the 21st century as leaders and innovators?

Sir Ken would argue we haven’t.  You be the judge as to whether we are on the right track.  By way of note, it is interesting that Sir Ken and Daniel Pink seem to have similar views on the current usefulness of our education systems and I just wonder if we are on the verge of something BIG which is about to change the grassroots of what we currently perceive as ‘the right way’.  

If these two learned gentlemen are in any way ‘right’ then things like Australia’s NAPLAN and ‘the American system’ of education may both be spiraling down the wrong path.

Some observations I gleaned & conclusions I reached:

  • If you are not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original.
  • We are educating people in work and in education that mistakes are the worst thing you can do.  We are educated out of creativity.
  • Education is a 19th century phenomenon built around what we will need to get a job.
  • Education is a reflection of what universities are: academic excellence. To not be academic is to be considered a failure.
  • Education suffers from two great misconceptions: conformity (we all learn the same thing the same way) and linearity (we all learn the same thing at the same age). Is it too hard to break this mold and allow diversity in learning and diversity in the age of learning.
  • Thought:  how many times do we hear of ‘success stories’ who went back to learning after they had dropped out of school?  How many times have we heard of success stories of those who never finished their schooling (some were High School dropouts and some University dropouts)?  
  • We need it to be the same for all rather than focus on making sure the conditions allow excellence in whatever area is best for that person. It has a start and end with a defined objective: to go to college ( to get a job).
  • Academic inflation: once a degree guaranteed you a job, now degrees are commonplace you need two degrees….
  • We learn in different ways (visual, kin-aesthetically, written , group), we think visually, with sound, touch, smell, abstract etc; it is interactive and dynamic.
  • Interesting example: some people need to move to think – they are called dancers but today we might say they have ADD!
  • Copying someone else’s work at school is called cheating or plagiarism.  At work it is called collaboration.


Clip #1


Clip #2

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