I so love this speech on TED because Sir Ken Robinson puts forward such a powerful argument contrasting what he sees as the current failure of the education system in the USA and his proposed alternative.
I often wonder if education is being ruined by political correctness?
Now don't get me wrong, I am all for behaving well and being aware of our behaviour toward other cultures, ideals, religions and the opposite sex; I just don't think people always think differently, they just know 'what not to say', and that's not the same thing. I often observe situations where I believe people are less authentic and free as they don't want to be labelled sexist, homophobic, racist etc and as a result don't actually say what is on their mind. To accuse people of these things is such an easy take down as it is quite disarming but in my mind is a truly lazy debate. Is it therefore possible that, because we don't want to be disliked or because of fear of retribution, we don't get to have the crucial conversations required to bring about change and ignite real and respectful bipartisan debate? Is it possible that teachers don't get to teach as they don't have the confidence to say "Fuck the system, teaching is more important that just testing"? In this speech Sir Ken Robinson talks about teaching needing to not be about 'command and control', but about leadership and influencing children and communities. My worry is that schools seem to be some of the most politically correct places there are, with teachers not wanting to offend anyone. To lead though, you actually need to risk upsetting people and be prepared to take a stand, and ultimately the environment has to support that stand by not being bullied by splinter groups and over zealous parents. We have to give teachers back their discretion, and support it, but in truth real leaders don't allow it to be taken from them in there first place. Teachers need to be leaders! PS I should say I love teachers and value education I'm not however so fond of the current environment.