Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Learning Revolution

Here's another great TED lecture by Ken Robinson. This one is called
"Bring on the learning revolution!"

Here are some quotes from the 16 minute video:

"I believe we make very poor use of our talents.

I meet many people who feel they are not good at anything.

I meet all kinds of people who simply go on with their lives getting on with it, who wait for the weekend.

Only a minority of people truly love what they do.

Education dislocates people from their natural talents.

Reform in education is not enough anymore.

We need a revolution, not an evolution in education.

The tyranny of common sense.

It’s hard to know what you take for granted.

Wrist watches, for example, are something we take for granted. Many adults over age 25 wear them because they are functional and tell time.

Teenagers don’t wear them because they do only one thing, tell time.

It’s an outdated piece of technology, with limited use for young people.

In education we still think in linear terms.

But life is not linear, it is organic.

Probably the pinnacle for education is getting you to college. That’s wrong.

Human communities depend upon a diversity of talents, not a singular conception of ability.

I came across a statement that said, “College begins in kindergarten.” No it doesn’t!

A three-year-old is not half a six-year-old.


We have built our education system on the model of fast food, where everything is standardized.

Education should be about passion, about what excites our spirit and energy.

If you are doing something you love, an hour feels like 5 minutes.

If you are doing something you hate, 5 minutes feels like an hour.

We have to recognize that human flourishing is an organic process, not mechanical, and all you can do is create the conditions under which humans will begin to flourish.

It’s about customizing to your specific circumstances.

We have to change from the industrial, linear model to an agricultural, organic model in education.

Abe Lincoln quote applies to education: 'The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.'"


  1. Loved this talk. It all sounds so right. But will my son who is entering 9th grade ever regain his love for learning like when he was a little child.
    It feels almost hopeless. It is so hard to encourage a teenager to go against the mainstream. We all can not afford private school and we all can not homeschool. It is so difficult to figure out what the "best" education is for your child.

  2. It's too bad there is no way to bring back the whole aprentice-ship where kids worked with adults and each other to learn various trades (without it being slave labor)...if they could identify their passions earlier on instead of clouding them with video games and mall strolling perhaps high school could recapture the fun in learning and bring more passion to the pursuit of higher knowlege...or maybe it's something so different for each kid (what do I know my kids are 6 and 2). I love the direction of your blog Kerry and those you feature! It brings lots of like-minded people together and gets everything thinking. Keep the charge! -- Mom / Co-Founder, Nueva Hoja School,Costa Rica

  3. This is great. Thanks for sharing it. Germany has an apprenticeship model that is an alternative to incredibly expensive college that doesn't assure a job. Their apprentices spend the same time but tend to make more money and have an easier time getting a job.

  4. When I was in 5th and 6th grades, we had a trial program based on the Montessori method that kids would naturally gravitate to what they were interested in. Every classroom had different "centers" for Art, Science, Cooking etc. (Math and English taught to everyone) I spent most of my time in the Art Center. Today, many years later, I am very happy Graphic Designer.