The Problem with Public Education
I thought that Sir Ken Robinson’s video that we watched in class the other day was a clever way to convey the problems with education in an entertaining way. The video was creative on so many levels- he explained the issue clearly and concisely, while providing entertaining illustrations that drew the view’s attention to what he was talking about. In addition, the way he “taught” this topic is exactly the way that experts in the field of education say that our brains learn best- though drawing and connected, “idea webs” such as the one that Robinson drew during the presentation.
In addition, Robinson told us a story. Stories draw our interest, which is why I think we should be telling more of them in the classroom. This would surly be a more interesting and informative way to learn than by the standard lesson plan.
I found a lot of parallels between Robinson’s video and The Call of Stories. One point that Robinson makes is that children are very creative and ready to learn new things when they are young, but the public school system sucks this life out of them. When Coles describes some of his child patients he says, “they’re playwrights, they’re storytellers!” Later on he talks about “a child’s superior powers of observation and empathy.” Coles seems to think, and I whole-heartedly agree, that one of the things that should be done to improve education is to interest children with stories. The way in which kids are fascinated with fairy tales can translate into a fascination with learning, if education is approached in a more alternative way. In his Journals, Thoreau says, “Simply to see a distant horizon through a clear air...this is wealth enough or one afternoon.” If we can find ways to keep kids thinking creatively and “outside the box”, the way they intuitively do, maybe there will be more hope for our education system.