Ken Robinson | TED Talk on Escaping Education's Death Valley

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Spend the 19 minutes it takes to watch this whole talk. Robinson has a typically British sense of humor, and his talk is at times quite funny. But his points are incisive and accurate. He's talking about the kinds of things my teaching mentors and I have been propounding for many years: that instead of academic leadership that advocates command-and-control styles, leaders should see themselves in charge of climate control (or in Peg Syverson's language, that schools are ecosystems that require care and tending at all levels). That instead of seeking conformity in our students, we should encourage and cultivate productive difference as a means of learning. That being engaged in a task is not the same as fulfilling its goals. That teachers are the lifeblood of schools, and that spending money on professional development is not a cost but an investment that pays back immeasurably.

I'm working with a school-wide committee right now to propose a revision to our faculty evaluation process, and these ideas are very much in my mind these days as we work to develop something that will tend more toward Robinson's ideas of professional growth and development instead of what so many institutions favor, the command-and-control-driven checklist that enforces compliance rather than creativity - a distinction also treated in Robinson's talk. (We are looking at the moment at Folio Collaborative as a mechanism for our new system, about which I'll write at another time.)

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This page contains a single entry by David Barndollar published on November 19, 2014 4:32 AM.

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