This post is a little different. I want to show you things that are important to me, that are part of my life. I hope you enjoy them and also tell me which things you enjoy the most.
I first heard of Sir Ken Robinson two years ago. He is a specialist in education, creativity, and innovation. In response to the question “Why don’t we get the best out of people?” Robinson argues, “It is because we have been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. We are educating people out of their creativity.” You can hear and view Robinson discuss education, creativity, and innovation at the following website:
Last December, a friend of mine introduced me to two other influential educators. One is Dr. Sugata Mitra. He is the educational researcher who did the “Hole in the Wall” experiment. In this experiment, Mitra showed that in the absence of supervision or formal teaching, children can teach themselves and each other if they are motivated by curiosity and peer interest. Mitra dream is “to build the ultimate ‘School in the Cloud’ where children, no matter how rich or poor, can engage and connect with information and mentoring online.” You can listen to Mitra at the following website:
The second educator my friend introduced me to is Cristobal Cobo, who is a research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute. Cobo proposes an invisible learning concept that works to integrate diverse perspectives on a new paradigm of learning human capital development that is especially relevant in the context of the 21st century. According to Cobo,“Invisible Learning is not a single idea. It is composed of many ideas. Rethinking the formal institutions of education should lead us to more openness.” He believes that schools need to teach techniques to develop skills for globalization, and they have to be focused on how to learn, not what to learn. You can listen to Cobo at the following website:
I find the ideas of Robinson, Mitra, and Cobo very interesting. They believe that our educational system has become obsolete. Robinson says, “So many kids are disengaged from education and there’s a tendency to confuse testing with learning,” “What drives learning is curiosity, questioning … What fires people up to learn is having their mind opened up by possibilities. ” I have some thoughts to add to theirs. I think higher education is also part of this crisis. How can universities and colleges prepare students to face the real world? What happens with technology in the classroom? How is it integrated? How can we, the students, develop our critical thinking? How can schools at all levels prepare students to face this global village that is today’s world? I am living in fascinated times. I love the energy and passion in Robinson, Mitra, and Cobo’s presentations about the importance and power of education. I enjoy talking with my friend about what is coming next in education.
I hope you enjoy these conversations and can take something from them.
For one of my courses, I had to do a presentation on a piece of writing that has changed the way I think.
My presentation was based on a book titled How to Be an Explorer of the World. The book describes how artists and scientists analyze the world around them in unexpected yet similar ways, by observing, collecting, documenting, analyzing, and comparing.
Why did this book attract my attention? I already had a lot of preconceptions about what makes a person creative. It showed me that there are many ways to be creative.
It showed me that creativity is much more than having the ability to write or paint or invent. My creativity comes from exploring the world, discovering little places or things to share with friends, family, and myself.
Since I’ve started this course, I have spent a lot of time on the Internet searching information for my assignments. My searches have taken me to interesting websites that are opening my world in so many different ways.
One website that I enjoy reading is www.brainpickings.org, written by Maria Popova. To me, this site has the perfect balance of good design, good content, and inspirational images and quotes – in other words, a little bit of everything. This quote from the website says it all: “Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why, bringing you things you didn’t know you were interested in — until you are.” I also like the sites definition of creativity: “Because creativity, after all, is a combinatorial force. It’s our ability to tap into the mental pool of resources — ideas, insights, knowledge, inspiration — that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world, and to combine them in extraordinary new ways.”
As a student, I have learned that everybody can find his/her own voice. Just as there are many ways to be creative, there is not one way to do things; reinvention is necessary. This discovery has allowed me to accept who I am and given me the energy to explore my own type of creativity.
I hope you enjoy.