sparkfun-fiFine-Tuning Education Won’t Work: How To Escape Education’s Death Valley

by TeachThought Staff

Ed reform, as it is, depends on iteration. Minor adjustments. Step-by-step. A linear process.

In general, we create initiatives that we hope will yield desired results, and measure their effectiveness with tests. This, at best, gives us program-based, test-measured improvement. But improvement of what?, we might ask. Of scores, or people?

Ken Robinson–of Do Schools Kill Creativity? fame–followed up on some of his now-famous ideas in the video How To Escape Education’s Death Valley. In it, Robinson outlines “3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish,” and outlines “how current education culture works against them.”

“There is wonderful work happening in this country. But I have to say it’s happening in spite of the dominant culture of education, not because of it. It’s like people are sailing into a headwind all the time. And the reason I think is this: that many of the current policies are based on mechanistic conceptions of education. It’s like education is an industrial process that can be improved just by having better data, and somewhere in the back of the mind of some policy makers is this idea that if we fine-tune it well enough, if we just get it right, it will all hum along perfectly into the future. It won’t, and it never did.”

The idea is to, rather than offering eloquent criticism, to provide a pathway forward–all built around the idea that fine-tuning our existing thinking isn’t radical or comprehensive enough to build the possibilities in education we seem to collectively envision.

You can see the entire video below.

Fine-Tuning Education Won’t Work: How To Escape Education’s Death Valley; adapted image attribution flickr user sparkfunelectronics