AIMS Conference Keynote by @SirKenRobinson

  • “Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative”
    • Updated — had to entirely rewrite because so much has changed in the last 10 years. The world is changing so rapidly.
  • Book: “How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything”:
  • Relentless linearity of education
  • We’re all born with immense natural talents and many of us don’t discover them. Why? Because of education.
    • We go through school in a general state of detachment
    • Developing our talents is part of being alive. And education is meant to help us get there.
    • Whether we find and realize them depends a lot on circumstances and opportunities, our teachers, our attitude (and willingness to follow them)
  • Life is not linear! It is organic.
    • Education system doesn’t work because it operates in a linear fashion
      • narrow, not diverse
      • assumes we can pan our lives in a linear fashion
  • Growing up, he had 4 gadgets: radio, tv, record player (and 1 record), telephone
  • Arc from 1950 to now
  • The world is changing so rapidly, largely because of the driving power of technological innovation.
    • last 10 years: google, facebook, smartphones (iphone), twitter
    • remarkable pace of change
    • we are used to finding information FAST. If we are looking for something, we go to the internet and we search. If it takes more than 15 seconds: “come on, I haven’t got all minute”
  • Genuinely transformative technologies – changes the culture completely
    • Television will never replace the radio completely. Why? Because to watch tv, you sit transfixed in front of the tv, whereas radio you can listen and do something else. We don’t have enough time for tv!
    • Technology not always working to our advantage.
    • Technology is changing, and it’s not stopping or slowing down
      • Education is slow to catch up
      • But, it’s not only the rate of change of technology, it’s also the growth of population.
        • “How many people can live on earth?” – BBC Documentary
  • Education system is not designed to cultivate our natural talents
    • “Civilization is a race between education and catastrophe” – H.G. Wells
    • Most people do not enjoy the work they do or the lives they lead; they get through the day; this is what I do vs this is what I am
      • when people do what they love, they are in their element, they live life to fulfillment
    • To be in your element:
      • 1. You are doing something you are natural good at
      • 2. You are good at it
      • Then, you never “work” again!
      • Aptitude + passion
        • We are all born with these; whether we find them is another question
      • We all have the natural power of creativity
  • The power of imagination
    • with imagination we can enter the spirit of somebody else; empathy
    • imagination is the driving pulse of humanity
      • helps us anticipate the future; bring it about
    • creative thinking and personal creative powers
    • life is organic and creative – we shape our lives, we create our own existence
    • the great gift of humanity is that we create our own circumstances
    • education – standardization and conformity
      • students are unique
      • how do we assess our students?
    • for students, the education system is their teachers and their schools (not what happens in the outside world)
    • problem with education – it is linear – we think that we can predict what we will need in the future
  • Bart Conner – gymnast, discovered he could walk as easily on his hands as he could on his feet
    • What if Bart’s mother had said stop that and go do your math/science homework
  • Saddest part of keynote: when Sir Ken Robinson says that his daughter came to him with a quadratic equation problem and he says he felt the familiar feeling of heart beating fast ← so many of the most fantastic speakers I have heard are terrified of math!


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