A wonderful day today – shopping at Borough Market in Southwark, looking at the fantastic anti-Nazi satirical photomontages of John Heartfield at the Tate Modern with friends, and being amazed again by the bas-reliefs of Assyrian court life from the friezes in the British Museum. Lots of learning to do, lots of artistic challenge to stimulate towards excellence.
All of that, topped off with the chance to listen this evening to Ken Robinson’s most recent education talk at TED which arrived in my inbox this afternoon – I was alerted to it by a friend yesterday. It doesn’t contain a huge amount of stuff that is new (for him) but it is funny and perceptive and lays out the grounds of the argument for humanity being diverse, imaginative and creative, and thus the requirement that our teachers be the same. It builds on his earlier work. This quote (at about 14.47 in the video) sums up much of the argument he makes. I’m interested that he uses the same sort of language that I have found useful to describe US and UK education policy – industrial, mechanistic. And he makes the point again that it is possible to teach and yet children not learn – something we easily forget – which places on us the requirement to be facilitators, leaders, of learning. Teachers have to grasp this.
Do watch the video. It’s only 19 minutes long. He takes the conditions for human flourishing as his theme, and uses as a metaphor the amazing transformation of Death Valley in California in spring 2005 after rains the previous autumn awakened billions of flowers to bloom – that’s the picture above. Not dead, dormant; rich potential, awaiting watering.