One Englishman’s Views on Education

As a private tutor, I am interested in education and monitor what people with impressive job titles have to say about it. After a while, the scramble of experts trying to distinguish themselves from each other blurs together in my mind and ends up sounding like a hockey game on a TV in an adjacent room.

Not much on the subject of education actually stands out any more but the above TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson was a recent exception. I strongly recommend watching it because, even if you do not like his message, you will at least get the benefit of his English humour.

Much of what Sir Ken has to say has been said by others but he says it better than most. The education system in Finland received a lot of attention in 2012. For those who missed it, the video hits upon the key points from that discussion. If I had to distil its theme down to a single word that word would be individuality. I like that word because whenever I work with a student I remind myself that their individuality is at the heart of why their parents sought me out as a tutor.

The talk includes some interesting metaphors. I like the one about how we need to change the dominant educational paradigm from one of “command and control” to one of “climate control” but my favourite is his story about rain in Death Valley. You will have to play the video to hear that one from Sir Ken.

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