Week One: Education

ken_robinson_quote_original

The first material we will cover is from a talk given by British thinker Sir Ken Robinson. It is a presentation given on the nature of education. This seems like a good place to start as it is the beginning of a new university semester.

You can find a link to the talk here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

You can also access a transcript of his speech here to help you more fully understand the points in case you can’t quite hear them yet.

Changing Education Paradigms – with transcript

Once you have watched the short video, consider the following questions. These are some of what we will discuss in class. You can bring your own ideas, questions, research, or criticisms about any part of it. 

0) What are your overall thoughts on this material? What is your personal opinion on it?

Do you have any comments about the video? The style? The speech? Sir Ken Robinson?

Was it boring? Interesting? Thought-provoking? Cool? Dull?

1)  Robinson believes that all children have different talents and the current education system simply tries to make everyone conform to one specific test-taking academic model and if they can’t, they fall behind or get left out. Do you believe that the current education system is a product of a previous age and not compatible with the current times? Or do you think it is still useful and relevant?

2) Why is there still an assumption that children should go through school according to their age—their date of manufacture? Do you believe there are any reasonable arguments against this?

3) Does education restrict our ‘divergent thinking’ and reduce our capacity to see multiple solutions and answers to problems? Do we get less creative as we get older?

4) Do we need to focus more in education on the idea of collaborating in groups? Do you agree with Robinson’s assertion that that is how humans learn best and most naturally? Does school enable this learning in any way?

5) Many European countries have free education—all the way up to doctorate degree. Should education be free? How much of a role do you believe money should play in the field of education?

6) Does Robinson actually offer any solutions? I mean, he freely criticizes the current education system but what is the alternative in real terms?

7) What do you know about ADHD (attention deficit disorder)? Is it a common occurrence in Korea like it is in the States? How do you feel about it?

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