Light Offerings

Escaping Education’s Death Valley is a matter of perspective

Posted by jturner56 on May 19, 2013

Ken Robinson’s How to escape education’s death valley has been doing the rounds. While imbued with his usual folksy charm and humanistic touch points it nevertheless, through it’s title and critique of schooling, shares much with protestations that school as a system is irredeemably broken or at least perverse.

While we have much to learn from reminders of the powerful potential of human diversity, curiosity and creativity, we need to also be asking ourselves if it is so obvious why is schooling bereft of such intents. Easy to target bureaucrats, unions, perceived teacher incompetency, computer companies, liberal weakness, conservative stagnation or any other political opponents. Far harder to look at education as a mirror of our own weaknesses and future potential. If irredeemably broken what does it say about us?

Every school beats within it a potential for a better future but, as the old adage reminds us, it takes a village to raise a child. What is needed is more constructive honest leadership at all levels. Ken Robinson’s ideas are a useful adjunct but the core question remains what future do we envisage for ourselves and our community (and to what extent is this clear)? It is, and has always been, a constant in the human condition.

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