Education |

New Approaches to Education: Inspiration from Sir Ken Robinson

Education | 20 May 2021

Sir Kenneth Robinson (4 March 1950–21 August 2020) was a British author, speaker and international advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education and arts bodies. He was director of the Arts in Schools Project and Professor of Arts Education at the University of Warwick, and Professor Emeritus after leaving the university.

In 2003 he was knighted for services to the arts. Originally from a working class Liverpool family, around September 2001 Robinson moved to Los Angeles with his wife and children to serve as Senior Advisor to the President of the J. Paul Getty Trust. He has one of the most popular TED talks online and has been the inspiration for a multitude of educators. Here are some of his ideas on education.

Robinson suggested that to engage and succeed, education has to develop on three fronts.

• Firstly, that it should foster diversity by offering a broad curriculum and encourage individualisation of the learning process.

• Secondly, it should promote curiosity through creative teaching, which depends on high quality teacher training and development.

• Finally, it should focus on awakening creativity through alternative didactic processes that put less emphasis on standardised testing, thereby giving the responsibility for defining the course of education to individual schools and teachers.

He believed that many of the present education systems encourage conformity, compliance and standardisation rather than creative approaches to learning. Robinson emphasised that we can only succeed if we recognise that education is an organic system, not a mechanical one. Successful school administration is a matter of engendering a helpful climate rather than “command and control”

“Modern educators should be more skillful than before. The world changes faster year by year. Such quick alterations force people to think in a different way. The most important is that people who work in other fields should keep up with times. Teachers are those who cherish a new generation and give them all skills and knowledge required for modern life. Therefore, teachers should obtain those skills and knowledge, otherwise their teaching methods are not effective.

Today young people are too smart and learn new technologies fast. Therefore, educators must be on the same page with their students, know their needs and interests. Here are some most important skills modern educators should have to teach students effectively.

Sir-Ken-Robinson

Teachers should understand how to use technology. The teaching methods just can’t be the same throughout centuries. Teachers should integrate digital technology to make students ready for living in real life. Here is an example of the coding integration into the learning process. Modern educators should know how to use apps and devices. It’s also important to know students’ slang, jokes and memes to better interact with them. A good teacher is not only a person who knows a subject perfectly, but also a person who can increase effectiveness of the teaching process by using new technologies and understanding students’ way of thinking.

Educators should be in social media. This is important for student-teacher communication. Teachers around the world create accounts in Facebook, Twitter and add their students  there. The teachers benefit from it because they don’t have to call their students anymore, they may just  write a message in the community of the course or send a message to all the students which is very easy and fast. Thus, technology makes teaching much easier and faster.

Teachers should develop communication skills. Technology helps to achieve better results in a teacher-student understanding. The students may ask additional questions for a better material understanding. A teacher becomes more like a friend or advisor and the distance between a teacher and a student is not crucial, so every student becomes more involved into learning process.

This is not a full list of the most important skills that modern teachers should have. But those three are the most important ones, because this is a basis which will help educators to teach students better and more effective. There are also some other important skills and knowledge which may vary from country to country. These three may become the most common ones.”

Remote learning has played a crucial role in the recovery process during the global pandemic. It’s made it possible for students to continue their education and it’s allowed educators and staff to continue teaching, even if that process looks entirely different than it did a year ago. The adoption of remote learning has also pushed the education world to break out of its comfort zone and lean into an entirely different way of delivering on its mission. And given the impact it’s had on the education space, most experts believe some form of remote learning is here to stay