Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Strip Mining Our Children

Recently I watched Sir Ken Robinson’s TED speech from 2006. He was of course brilliant and I was very impressed with his ability to connect with his audience and speak with in time. He addresses one issue and he covered it in depth. For once I am proud to say that I have a MS in Education. Sometimes it seems like people the most educated people never learned how to express information eloquently.

I highly suggest that you take the 18 minutes to watch this video if your in education today or if your just a parent of a child, It really does put a nice spin on things.

One of the key ideas that Sir Robinson talks about is that we are running our schools with the idea that college professor is the perfect human being. That are educational instutions wreck the life path of anyone who is not on that particular path in the name of higher ed. I personally don’t think the wreckage is worth it having been a piece of the mess myself.

Who are we – that we live such sort sighted lives? The only time that anyone was cared if I had a high school degree was when the government was regulating my employment as director of an after school program. Never in the last fifteen years of storytelling has any teacher asked me if I have a high school diploma or a college diploma. They just wanted to know if I was a good storyteller(yes) and if I had committed any felonies. (no)

So why did I spend all those years in school anyway? Personally it was to defeat the demon of somebody told me I can’t finish this and I’m a failure if I quite now. But I should point out that some of the greatest artists flunked out (Susana Vega) of the greatest schools (Columbia University) – not that it matters.

Inertia is such a powerful force in human culture. Why is the ham cut short ma, because grandma cut it that way. Oh – Grandma why do you cut the ham short? Cause your great grandma cut it that way. Great Grandma why – o be quiet boy – back in my day the oven was smaller – could fit the ham in with out cutting it into pieces!

School as a representation of government is such powerful sources of inertia – how do we as individuals reform or even understand these powerful mythological figures?

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