The problem with the world today is that there are just too many people to keep track of. Even with the explosion of social media, there are just too many people. As a result, even some of the great ones manage to slip under the radar.
Sir Kenneth Robinson is one such great one. I could devote a series of 10 posts to nothing more than quotes from this divine human. In the event (like me) you do not know him, please allow me a brief introduction.
Sir Ken Robinson is a creativity expert. He challenges the way we (the whole world) are educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence. He is an author, speaker and international advisor. He is a husband and a father. He is a gladiator of joy and hope.
Here is the first thing I ever heard Sir Ken Robinson say, and the thing that got me hooked: “All kids have tremendous talents — and we squander them pretty ruthlessly.”
Is that awesome or what?
Here is another one that just got me and reeled me in: “I believe this passionately: that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out if it.”
Here’s the thing. SKR believes – and I agree wholeheartedly – that we need to change the way we think about education. And the change has to do with nurturing our natures. We are not all meant to be engineers and professors. Some of us are meant to be dancers and artists. But that’s not the point. SKR suggests – and I agree wholeheartedly – that a change in our approach may lead to dancing engineers and painting professors.
Not literally, of course. But unleashing the creativity that exists in all of us is not nearly as useful as encouraging it from birth, rather than teaching us all to settle down and get serious.
As a sophomore in a Jesuit high school, I was once reprimanded by my speech teacher for giving a lighthearted presentation: “Everything in life is not funny, Mr. Sweeney” he commanded. And I responded with the only coherent thought I could assemble in my pubescent brain: “Why not?”
Why not, indeed. Or as SKR put it: “The real role of leadership in education … is not and should not be command and control. The real role of leadership is climate control, creating a climate of possibility.”
You rock, sir.