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.