A Powerful (and Very Funny) Riff on Education

Another TED talk, this one by Sir Ken Robinson is too good to be caught in a few words. In the talk he says that he spent most of his life in Stratford-on-Avon. It shows, and I strongly recommend it. Very funny, and very serious.

2 thoughts on “A Powerful (and Very Funny) Riff on Education

  1. Margaret McIntyre

    Hi Chauncey,

    I have found your links to the TED talks wonderful and am most appreciative that you turned me on to their website. I’ve had a blast exploring them as it looks like you are too!

    Sir Robinson’s very entertaining talk reminds me of Buckminster Fuller’s suggestion that a successful education process should be based on people making mistakes and then learning from them. Bucky thought folks who made the most mistakes but then were required to be thoughtful about what they learned should be the ones to get the A rather than the ones who got it right the first time.

    Sir Robinson’s comments about our educational system focusing on learning happening in our heads, to one side, resonated with me. Bodies only as a mechanism to transport our heads to meetings is too familiar in our world these days. Richard Strozzi Heckler has been a powerful teacher to counter this common sense. On a related topic, I HIGHLY recommend another TED talk on listening with our bodies by Evelyn Glennie. Here’s the link. http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/103

    Listening the rest of Sir Robinson’s talk, I experienced a certain sadness about the impact that industrialism has had on our education system. Having recently studied some of Heidegger’s essays, I realize that I have suffered from an education system and society that valued practical subjects for MAKING a living rather than simply LIVING. While I loved math and science, I also loved music and singing. But I chose chemistry over music for my vocation because it seemed it would be easier for me to make a living through chemistry and pursue music as an avocation rather than the other way around. I have made a living but have moved on from science to business, but it has been difficult for me to find a space in the world in which singing and music has the role in my life that I would have liked. About a year ago–when I was unemployed, I finally had the time to pursue the experience of singing regularly in a high quality church choir. That experience reconnected me to the power of singing together in community and the unique feeling that creates. It has been life changing! NOT something reproducible through technology.

    I am excited about coming to a time in life when I value more freedom to pursue my interests in the arts more than “making a living” and hope to return to creative collaboration that is my true passion.

    Thanks for your thought provoking posts.

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