This weekend we had tickets to see The Lion King, the Broadway production, in Milwaukee. My wife had seen it before and told me how amazing all the technical aspects were but I wasn’t able to appreciate it until I’d seen it myself. The way they brought the savannah of Africa to the stage was one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in a long time.
Knowing the story so well from seeing the movie(s) so many times, it was fun to be able to focus on the amazing combination of engineering and creativity that went into the production of this show. Making a movie based solely on talking/singing animals is one thing, but turning it into a theatrical performance where all of the animals are played by humans took some serious creativity! Beyond the creativity there was a lot of brilliant engineering that went into creating a show that was not only true to the original story but also “believable” enough so as to engage the audience.
As I contemplated this wonderful combination of technical work and creative juices, I thought back to a Ted talk done by Sir Ken Robinson. It was recorded over ten years ago now but he discussed his thoughts about how the system of education that exists today is effectively designed to suffocate creativity. It had been a while since I’d watched it, so I went back to look for it when I came across a new presentation by him. What is most interesting (depressing) to me about this new presentation is that the main idea hasn’t changed, we still have a lot to do to fix education.
In his new talk, Sir Ken Robinson discusses the important ways that education should impact those it intends to serve, the students. He talks about how education inevitably has impacts on the economic, cultural, and social levels for our students. The last area that he says education should help our students is personally. Sir Ken Robinson says, “Education should enable young people to engage with the world within them as well as the world around them.”
How do we develop agile classrooms where there is “a community of learners being facilitated by an expert teacher” and where “dynamic encounters” happen with the guidance of knowledgeable mentors?
Sir Ken Robinson’s thoughts on education and the revolution that is needed within education should be heard by everyone. Have a listen here and then I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts at any time: in the hallway, after school, in an email, or however you’d like to share. This isn’t homework but I very much enjoy thinking about how we can be better for our students, if you’ve got any thoughts you’d like to share please do so!
“Education isn’t a monologue, it’s a conversation.” – Sir Ken Robinson