Sir Ken Robinson is My Hero

I’ve seen snippets of this Ken Robinson video for some time now, but I had never watched the full video until last night when my wife mentioned a recent article on CNN about how schools are currently structured to mass-produce children to take tests and memorize facts in a similar way to mass-producing cars. Sir Ken Robinson argues that we need to restructure schools completely to focus on individual development, and I watched with great relish this 19 minute video of his 2006 TED Talk.

My wife and I then proceeded to stay up way past our bedtime discussing Sir Robinson’s thoughts, the implications of focusing on children instead of standards, how both the previous and current administration in the U.S. is out to completely destroy any sense of individuality and creativity in the schools, and recommitting ourselves to raising our children in a way that encourages them to make mistakes, take risks, but ultimately pursue something that utilizes their gifts.

So do yourself a favor this Sunday afternoon, give the video a watch and pull the nearest person closest to you over so you can discuss it afterward. Check out Sir Robinson’s site here.


  1. I love that video. I haven’t watched it in awhile, thanks for blogging it.

    Your new site looks great by the way. Trying out some new web design stuff to justify your new position as Supreme Ruler of SIGWeb? 😉
    .-= Steve Dickie´s last blog ..Preparation for MACUL =-.

  2. Steve, I believe his official title is “Grand High Poobah of SIGWeb.”

    I am totally a new fan of Sir Robinson. Being an art teacher without a classroom (they decided that art was not important enough to keep in this economic climate), I agree with everything he says about giving children the opportunities to learn in diverse ways. Love it!

  3. I almost went with that title, LOL.

    EEK, no art room? I use the art room at my school as the inspiration for my electronics class. I just need to figure out how I can do it with my physics classes.

  4. Ha, thanks Steve! To be truthful, this is a theme that I actually paid a little bit of cash for, but I have been modifying the CSS and the PHP a bit thanks to my “Supreme Ruler” abilities 🙂

    1. You know, it’s funny, I’ve been having a conversation with a woman who chairs the Art Educators of New Jersey conference since posting this. She found the post, and told me the exact same thing, that Dan Pink was incredible. I’ll have to look into now that he comes so highly recommended by two people in as many days 🙂

  5. My children are all out of college now but your post reminded me about how much time and effort I put in as a parent to make sure they were educated in spite of the time they spent in school. All of them spent some time in public school,private school and some homeschooling. It all depended on where we lived, where they were developmentally, and what schools were available that most closely met their needs. I also spent lots of money on tutors when they needed them. Even though they were all “gifted” by the traditional standards, they still needed individual help once in awhile. I learned early on that public school was not a good fit for them and so I found creative ways to find the best solution. They were well worth the effort but it was time-consuming and costly. All the while I would look around at the kids whose parents did not have the means to do what I did. Our whole society loses by not making sure that every kid reaches their individual potential, whatever that may be.

  6. Sir Ken Robinson is truly amazing! I had the opportunity to see him as a Keynote speaker at the 2009 NYSCATE annual conference in Rochester, NY…it was great! I’m currently reading his book The Element and its inspiring. The sad thing is this talk is from 4 years ago! Why is it that what he’s suggesting here is so obvious, so true and yet nothing has changed!?!

  7. We watched this and had to critique it in one of my classes last Spring (’09) as an exercise in review and analysis. I wonder if I can find what I wrote. Of course he’s mostly (almost all) right on his evaluation. I remember that one student brought up the question of if he was an educator, what were his bona fides that allowed him to critique education with such authority? I can’t remeber the answer to that. Maybe someone else will post before I get a chance to dig out my review.

    1. I’d love to read your review of it!

      And to answer the student’s question (even thought it’s a year late), I think the answer lays in the same reason that almost everyone else feels as though they can critique education, even without their bona fides. Schooling is unique in that almost everyone has gone through “the system”, thus giving most people in developed nations a common understanding of what school is, how it’s run, and how it affects us. That’s not to say they all have an accurate understanding, but a common understanding nonetheless. That gives people HUGE liberties to speak on the subject of schooling whether they are qualified to do it or not.

      That’s a weak excuse, I know, but to address it specifically, Sir Ken was an Education professor for 12 years, has led national educational intiatives in the U.K. and has consulted with several governments around the world. You can check his bio here (

      1. Nice. I don’t remember the answer given in class to that question as vividly as I remember the question itself. We were, afterall, tasked with finding something bad to say about the speech as a part (half) of the assignment. This made it hard when we all agreed with him, but that made it perfect practice for writing lit. reviews.

        TED is such a cool source for awesome content.

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