Changing Education Paradigms

This is a must watch for any parent–whatever your children’s ages–or for anyone with the remotest connection with education. TED had this to say about Sir Ken Robinson’s “Changing Education Paradigms”:

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.

There’s no arguing with the logic. Our education system is mired in the past, it’s destroying children’s creativity, and it needs to change tuit de suite so that we can teach our children how to teach us to fix the mess we’ve made.

To get the best from this video it’s important to use the highest resolution (click the gear icon and select 720p) and then click the full screen option bottom right. Or just click on the Youtube icon and go straight to the source.

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Hekia Parata, you’re a smart woman. Are you listening?

If you feel inspired to do something about your own education, no matter what your age or affluence, check my last post about the inspirational Sebastian Thrun’s Udacity.

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Udacity

This could change the world

It could certainly change your world.

As I’ve said in my notes to my grandchildren, the environmental and economic state of the planet is dire. I’m struggling to find positive stories to balance the bad news. This one ticks the box. I’m getting old and maudlin. 😦 When Sebastian Thrun showed the inspirational message from a young woman whose life was falling apart, I had tears in my eyes.

“Udacity is a totally new kind of learning experience. You learn by solving challenging problems and pursuing udacious projects with world-renowned university instructors (not by watching long, boring lectures). At Udacity, we put you, the student, at the center of the universe.”

And it’s free.

What are you waiting for? Sign up here.

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If you’re concerned–and you should be–about the direction of education generally, or if you have children, or you’re an educationalist youself, please watch Sir Ken Robinson’s brilliant and entertaining video Changing Education Paradigms, right here.

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Education may be expensive…

…but it’s a whole lot cheaper than ignorance

Back to the blackboard

We’ve been bickering over NCEA for years, now it’s the turn of National Standards. We’re accustomed to politicians being short-sighted and opportunistic but wouldn’t it be nice if we could rely on teachers to be more in touch with the real world?

The whole gang of them—teachers, politicians, civil servants and parents—need to go back to the drawing board. Stop tweaking the damn system, stop worrying about themselves and start teaching our kids reading, writing and mathematics. OK, you need a few other things as well but without those three basic skills you’re wasting everyone’s time and the country’s future.

The present system is not working. Fifty years ago I received a better deal from the education system than today’s children do. It wasn’t great, but it accomplished more successfully the basic aims of primary and secondary education.

Continue reading “Education may be expensive…”

The voice of inexperience

JaydenSeeing this Photoshopped version of my great-grandson Jayden reminded me about a university lecturer talking on National Radio just before the 2008 election. She said that some of her students were discussing the forthcoming poll and one said:

“Wouldn’t it be weird if we had a man as Prime Minister?”

Think about that. A newly qualified voter in 2008 would have been 7 years old when last we had a male PM in New Zealand and 2 years old at the last First-Past-the-Post election. It puts in perspective the life experience gap between me and a quarter of a million voters.

What do they teach these people?

A poll of sixty 18-24 year-olds by the Dominion Post at that time was more disturbing:

  • They all identified the Tsarina, not surprising in that she’d opened every kindergarten and school fair in the country for 9 years – as long as it was televised.
  • Almost half couldn’t identify John Key.
  • A whole 2 of the 60 picked out Greens’ co-leader Dr Russell Norman.No loss. Russell who?
  • Just 7 of these 60 Wellingtonians could identify long-time Wellington Central MP Marian Hobbs.
  • Most worrying. A third year political studies student thought Maori Party co-leader Dr Peter Sharples was a Labour MP.

These people can decide elections. It’s a worry. Little wonder a vanquished schoolteacher on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” was ignorant of David Lange’s “uranium on the breath” quote. We’d be lucky if anyone under 30 knew who he was. The future for newspapers, broadcast news and current affairs programming is looking uncertain. 😦

With Winston Peters lurking in the political Mirkwood waiting to bribe the students this all takes on a worrying significance.