Comment: Week 2 Video – Ken Robinson

Ken Robinson, Feb. 2010

Robinson begins with the premise that our current model for schooling is broken. Thus, “reform” is like trying to revive a dead horse. What we need is a “revolution.” Change has to occur at a fundamental level. He characterizes the current model as standardized, a one-size-fits-all approach that demands conformity. The alternative is a model that prizes the individual, students as “who they are” declaring that “this is me, my most authentic self.” In educationese, he’s talking about student-centered learning.

When schools focus on the individual, on her/his interests and goals, learning becomes a “passion.” In our jargon, the student becomes “engaged,” and, for her, an “hour feels like five minutes” and learning “resonates” with her “spirit.”

The broken model is linear, mechanical, rigid. In contrast, the new model has to be organic, and the impression is of each student growing and being nourished in the soil of her own interests. Robinson’s closing message, directed at educators, is a quote from Yeats’s “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”: “I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” The narrator, for his purposes, is the student.

The implication is that education is no longer about the teacher or even teaching. It’s about the learner and learning. From this perspective, we can get a pretty good idea about what the role of “facilitator” and “facilitating” ought to mean. I think.

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3 Responses to Comment: Week 2 Video – Ken Robinson

  1. Greg Walker says:

    Your comment that the new learning model has to be organic reminded me of Dave Cormier’s discussion on rhizomatic learning. According to Crommier (, in his 2008 article ‘rhizomatic education: community as curriculum’, new communication technologies, ( the increased speed of the dissemination of information, and the conversion of information to knowledge have forced us to critically reexamine what constitutes knowledge,where it can be found and how it can be validated.” When we involve students in learning communites, where new information is being assimilated and tested, instructors can start to apprehend the sometimes elusive and moving target that is knowledge in the modern learning environment.

  2. Pingback: Jan and Greg: Rhizomes for Breakfast | Jim's iFacilitate Blog

  3. Pingback: Jan and Greg: Rhizomes for Breakfast « Vanessa's Blogueria

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