Synthesizing change – two fascinating videos!

Sir Ken Robinson’s work has been a gift to education in recent years. In his latest video, Changing Education Paradigms, he offers a fascinating look at where we have been, where we are, and where we need to head in education. The video I am sharing is an animation by RSA Animate – a very clever way to present a speech in visual terms. Enjoy – then discuss with a group! Run time for this video is 11:41.

Here is an updated version of what is happening in the world of social media penetration globally – you may be shocked by some of the stats in this video. It was created in May of 2010, so I am sure the numbers mentioned have increased even further. Run time: 2:55.


Filed under change, leadership, resources, staff development

27 responses to “Synthesizing change – two fascinating videos!

  1. pete post

    Thank you for this wonderful posting – I look forward to sharing this with my students from Trinity Christian College that are pursuing a degree in education. I will ask them to post a reflection on their reaction to the video – how does this affect their ideas about education. What difference might this make in how they intend to teach their future classes?
    – Prof Pete Post

    • Thanks, Pete – it is a privilege to team together – I always learn a lot from your students also!

    • Betsy Holman

      After viewing this video, a lot has changed as far as my perspective of how I want to teach. I think about how I received my education and it greatly reflects the traditional separating of students. Though this style worked out for me, as Mr. Robinson pointed out it could, I cannot help but remember my fellow classmates who it did not work out for. The separation of academic and non academic was very visible in my childhood. There were kids who succeeded and those who just never got it.
      As I prepare myself to become a teacher, I feel it is important to avoid that. The more and more time I spend with children, the more I realize that one teaching method is not enough. They often need more than one perspective or approach on a topic and every single child is unique. I think educators can learn a lot from this video in the sense that our world is changing and education must adapt to the needs of students so it can be as efficient as possible. We do not live the way they did one hundred or even fifty years ago.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy your posts. It is always great to follow Christians who are not afraid to jump into mainstream educational discussions.

    I appreciate the work you do for the Kingdom.

  3. Shurouq Abdallah

    After watching this video I learned different ways on how public education helps students learn and how it seperates students by age and grade level. The video stated that students can be different in age but know the same material. This video impact the way I look at my philosophy because I want to give students an opportunity to learn in different learn styles. I want to use different learning styles and not just one style because students have different ways of understanding the class materials and teacher jobs is to teach the materials in different ways so you gave the students opportunity to learn in their way. I think teacher today are coming up with creative ways to teach their students instead of teaching the same way because student get bored and do not pay attention to the teacher. I believe the most important quality that a teacher should have is to nurturer their students and have a great personality.

  4. Anneke Delport

    The video by Sir Ken Robinson lit up so many lgihtbulbs in my mind while watching it. It is amazing to think that students might actually be wrongly diagnosed with HDHD just because they are bored in class. I myself am sometimes bored when I have to listen to a hour lecture, but as soon as I am in a classroom where the teacher makes it more interesting by including games, visuals, video clips, or just small group interaction, I am instantly amused by the subejct being discussed or learned about. There is so much more interesting things out there in the world for children to do. Video games, movies, computers, games, sports, and toys are just a few of the available activites that can be done outside of school that chidlren really care about doing. If we as teachers could incorportate more fun activities into our classroom curriculum, then our students will be more interested and care more about what they are learning. If we make it real to them by showing them that what we are teaching them really does exist in the world and not just in their textbook, they will most likely want to learn about it. This video impacted my teaching philosophy by showing me that children will not learn if they do not want to learn, so as a teacher I will make sure that my classroom is a fun and interesting place where my students will want to learn every day.

  5. Chelsea Konyndyk

    Thanks for sharing this video! It really gets me thinking about how I was brought through education and was it really the best way to have been educated. Also was there really a better way to separate students besides age group? And what are these new ways that we can create a better way to educate our future students?
    I think to answer these questions requires a lot of collaboration with other educators and a lot of our own thinking. If we first develop our own thoughts on the video and what we think then discuss it and bounce our ideas off of others then we may come up with exactly how we want to run our classrooms, as a teacher of course. Input from many different groups of people and not only educators is most likely going to come up with many ideas opposed to only getting input from educators. Our culture and world is changing and it seems like the education system we have now will not last forever, so I think it is important to think about how we can create a better way to educate.

  6. Shirley

    Sajan George spoke at the January Series reinforcing some of these same points, so very interesting overlap. Question: if learning can be increasingly individualized, using online “gaming” formats, then why NOT keep kids in age-alike classes — for social reasons. And what are the alternatives? Thanks.

  7. Kim Dolce

    Thanks for sharing a great video on how our education was, is, and how we are taking steps to make our education better. The video got me thinking about how I want to teach my students in the classroom. I believe that every child has a different way of learning material and by providing different ways to teach our students will give them an exceptional and outstanding education. I want my students to be able to learn as much as they can. In my philosophy of education, I want to make the learning experience fun for my students so they want to learn everyday. Another good aspect of teaching is to collaborate with your other educators; especially finding different ways to teach our students will help shape and nurture them into excellent students.

  8. Maureen Lambert

    I thought this video was great! I think there are so many useful things to learn frm this video because Sir Ken Robinson made so many points. The first thing I strongly agreed with was that people are not either smart or not smart. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and everyone can be sucessful in different ways. But, in order to achieve this people must realize their talents. However, if teachers don’t teach in different ways a student might miss the chance to discover their strength. So, it is vital that students are taught in different ways and encouraged to think as an individual wieitherby themselves or in a group. This goes along with Robinson’s point of waking up students and engaging them in something they find interesting. I think this is correct because I think back to grade school and the things I remember the most are when teachers got creative and thought outside of the box to teach me something instead of just lecturing. If teachers taught differently and made some changes then students would be more excited about school and not be afraid to get creative!
    The next big point I think Robinson made was the mistake that was made by gouping students by age in schools. I agree with Robinson in the thought that this is wrong because there are some students who are quite good at one subject and struggle in another. Also, if students had group time with other ages there is so much to be learned from each other.

  9. Vanessa Noonan

    What a great video! Sir Ken Robinson presents some dead-on points that really aligned with some of my beliefs. While I am currently studying to be a teacher, I will forever see myself as a student! One of the things I liked about this video was the drawings that accompanied it. And every time I think of myself as a student, it becomes easier for me to ask myself, “What will help my students learn?” I especially agreed with the part that talked about how we are not supposed to be suppressing children but “waking them up.” Some of my peers have commented on the downsides to grouping children according to age. Every child is different, and there are many, many alternate ways of enabling children to work together besides looking solely at age. I believe it is important for my students to learn as best they can. When I have a classroom, I plan not only to get to know my students, but also get to know their personal learning styles as best I can. I feel that every child should be allowed to learn and interact with peers in their own ways.

  10. Corinne Beezhold

    Thank you so much for sharing these videos! I found the first to be very thought-provoking about reforming our educational system and the second to be very informative about the influence of social media on our culture today.

    I definitely think you raise some very good points about how reliant America has gotten on medicine/pills to help children concentrate more. I too agree that this is probably not the best way to help children learn. Instead, I wholeheartedly believe in your statement that said, “we should be waking them up to what is inside of themselves!” Too often our schools are focused on finding one answer to a problem and leaning towards conformity and standardization. Instead, I agree that we should promote divergent thinking and creative problem solving where kids are free to explore many options and come up with their own solutions. Group work is definitely another great way for kids to learn together and from one another! As a future teacher, it will be my goal to have kids use divergent thinking in their schoolwork. I will promote this by giving creative assignments and encouraging collaboration.

  11. John Baty

    This is the second time I have watched the video by Sir Ken Robinson and first of all, both times I’ve watched this it shocks me that people used to categorize people into smart and non-smart. With all the different people in this world I still have trouble believing that they used to boil everybody down to 2 categories. I also feel like he has a point when he mentions the “A.D.D. epidemic”, i think that people are diagnosing second graders with A.D.D. because they aren’t paying attention to the teacher, it seems like they are just being second graders to me. if you want to keep them interested teach them in an interesting way. That’s definitely something i want to keep in mind when I teach my own classroom. I also think that the way we organize kids to be in school could be changed around as well. a lot of kids do not work very well in the morning, they are tired and want to go to sleep, so let them, start classes later, parents don’t get out of work until later in the day anyways. Obviously I can’t do anything about that in my own classroom but it’s just something I think we should change. And as for the other video, I definitely think that we should do a lot more online involvement with parents and students both. I think if we put students grades, assignments, test dates, and other stuff like that online, the parents might be able to be more connected to the classroom and possibly hold the students to a higher accountability. And hopefully that will make the students do better and keep the parents happier.

  12. William O'Brien

    We as people categorize other people everyday, but the way they did this by being considered smart and non-smart is disturbing. Along with the ADD uprising is the bi-polar and I think he brings up good points about much people rely on their medicine and pills just to get throught the day. Also some of my fellow class mates have already stated similar opinions. I would also have to say and agree with everything involving our new technology trends. Facebook and other social network sites are rising and will continue. This is not a bad thing but we as teachers need to turn this bad thing into a good thing. We can use these new resources for our benefit.

  13. Teresa Ebbers

    I really liked this video. It was very informational. I thought it was very interesting how people in the old days used to believe that street children wouldn’t benefit from public education because they were incapable of learning how to read and write. I believe that evey child should get the right to education, which now a days most are. I strongly disagreed how they grouped people into smark and non smart. I believe that every person learns at their own pace and if it takes them a little longer to get it then thats okay. I agree with the statement about how “we should be waking students up”. I agree we shouldn’t be medicating and putting students to sleep. Instead we should be making learning enjoyable and fun for them. This video was very good and got me thinking about certain things that I will do in my classroom.

  14. Andrew Hoekstra

    This was quite the video. It was very transformational in the way that it showed the different ways that people are categorized in the educational system. It needs reform I will agree fully. The way that they categorized from smart to not smart is very usual and is found to be true in every school that I have seen. Not only do the fellow students say it, but the teachers are saying it as well.
    The ADHD epidemic is something that needs to be approached and considered. This is starting to become more common for someone to say, “oh this person has ADHD because he or she can’t focus or pay attention.” That doesn’t mean that they have an epidemic. It only means that because of this day and age in which we live, people are becoming distracted and numbed to the things that are really important in life and therefore have a hard time or don’t want to show any effort towards learning and the environment in which they learn. This can be changed and it should be fixed not with antibiotics, but with proper attitude adjustments and proper ways of teaching.

  15. Lisa Trepton

    This is the second time that I have watched this video for a class, but both times I have benefited greatly from it. Sir Ken Robinson brings up some very new and thought provoking ideas. I especially think that his views about ADHD are very worthwhile to consider. So many children spend the majority of their free time watching television, playing video games or sitting in front of a computer. With all of the stimulation they are getting from the television shows, graphics and advertisements it’s no wonder why they can sit still or pay attention in a classroom with only thing to keep them attentive. Perhaps it’s not the children’s fault they can’t focus; perhaps it’s the way teachers teach their students. As a future teacher, this video has shed a new light on the way I view children and public education. This video will definitely challenge me as a teacher to keep my students fully engaged in the lessons and use new methods in order to do so. Thank you so much for posting this video. Not only is it beneficial for future teachers to see, but also the parents who support public education.

  16. Lindsay Slager

    These two videos are extrememly informative and beneficial to me as a future teacher. I have watched the first video before, a couple of times, but it never ceases to capture my attention and it causes me to view education just a little bit differently than before. This creative means of sharing such an important topic portrays exactly what we should be striving toward as educators. Children are not benefiting from lecture-based lessons with little interaction and involvement. Instead, they need to shown how learning can be fun and relevant to them because, otherwise, they have no reason to learn at all. This does make teaching more difficult, but children deserve every teacher’s best effort.
    The second video was also very interesting to me. The media is becoming increasingly popular as a means of entertainment and communication. I was particularly surprised to find out how so many companies are using these sites for work related purposes. Another important task for teachers is incorporating these forms of media for both communication, as well as instruction, in the classroom. Since technology is becoming increasingly important for occupations and recreation, it is crucial that students receive the information needed to keep up in our fast-paced society.

  17. Neil Krooswyk

    This is the first time that I have seen this video from Sir Ken Robinson and I found it interesting and informative. I was surprised and discouraged to hear that students were categorized as smart and not smart. I thought that this classification of students is unfair and puts a damper on both the students and education. I was also interested to hear about how students are treated as zombies when they are shoved pills. I agree with Sir Ken Robinson that too many students are given add or adhd pills when it isn’t necessary. I have seen friends change on these kinds of medication and it is by no means necessary. In conclusion, I thought that this video was very helpful in forming a philosophy of education as it pushes the audience to not be content with students performing poorly and striving to push students to do better.

  18. Nora Nassar

    Thank you for sharing this video with us. I really agree with what Sir Robinson talked about when it came to separating the students on ages and levels. I did some field work at a school not too long ago and it is interesting to hear this video and automatically link it with this video. This school was “4 years behind” quoted by the principal and I felt like it was mainly because of students being able to take in information better than others. This video taught me a lot on how I would structure my classroom as well as coming up with different learning strategies for my students that learn differently than others. Change is always good and I want to teach my students that they can learn at their own pace. Thanks again great video!!

  19. Nate Hill

    What a thought provoking video! As I watched it made me think about the whole idea of the educational system that we have been brought up in. It truly is set up for a world that is quite different from the one that we find ourselves in today. Sir Ken Robison is able to point out the need for a change within our system. As a future teacher this can be somewhat discouraging to see the need for change that is present. On the other hand though, it’s exciting to think that I can help fuel a change in education so that students can be equipped for the world that they find themselves in. I think this is a great video for anyone in the field of education and i learned a lot from it. Thank you for sharing!

  20. Carly Lerner

    After watching these videos, I agree that there are aspects of education that need changing. It is now clear that all students do not learn the same way. Teachers should understand that the way one student learns best will not be the same as another. The video covers the fact that some students are board in class which leads to them not enjoying learning, not paying attention, and even being diagnosed with ADHD. I agree that we live in an age where children are surrounded by technology and distractions everywhere they turn. So the most common complaint is that teachers make learning boring. Its true teachers should be aware of the technology they have available and try to make learning more hands on and interactive. However, sometimes it seems like the sole blame is put on the teachers. Teachers are given an extreme amount of standards and materials and goals they have to cover in one year. So while I absolutely agree that teachers should make some projects fun and enjoyable because many students learn best that way, we can’t expect teachers to cover all that they have to and still have their students making projects and on a computer all the time. The fact is that students have to play a part too and sometimes learn from how they’re taught. If all a student is taught with is technology and fun projects, they become reliant on that to learn and then when they are sitting in a college lecture with 200 other students, they won’t be able to focus on what they have to learn. Like it or not, sometimes we have to be able to work through the boring stuff to get to the fun stuff. If a student can’t focus without a TV in his face, then how can we expect them to sit through a 5 hour test whether it be ACT, SAT, AP, basic skills, high school entrance. etc. Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree that we can’t expect students to get excited about learning if we only teach lecture-style, but I’ve also seen the result of students who only learn from a stimulus and those are the ones that can’t focus long enough to take a test or sit through a whole semester of a college course that’s all lecture. We have to have a balance.

  21. Allison Bouma

    I thought that the videos were very interesting. I think that Ken Robinson made a very good point that the model for our educational system is based on the industrial age and that it doesn’t totally work anymore for our modernized information-age society. The videos made me think about my brother’s school. His middle school gave every student a laptop so that they could computerize all the homework assignments. There were a lot of group assignments that supported Robinson’s model of divergent thinking. I also think about my dad and how he works from home. His entire business is run through the internet with employees in different cities spread throughout the United States and it operates smoothly. These are just a few examples I can give that support the concept that educational and businness worlds are definitely changing as evidenced in the second video of the number of participants in the social media revoltion. Unfortunatly, my brother’s high school does not allow students to bring computers to school. It makes me wonder what is going to happen to all these kids who for three years relied on their computers for their educational learning. Although gains are being made in some areas, it is not consistent and alignments need to be made.

  22. Allison Bouma

    I had to go listen to this song after i watched the videos!!

  23. Danielle De Vries

    Thank you for sharing the videos! I have seen the first one before in another class, but I still am amazed by the truthfulness in it. What Sir Ken Robinson says about the number of ADD and ADHD diagnoses is completely true. It does not seem possible that the number of people with the two diseases can really increase at such a high rate. I would agree with many when saying that it seems to be as though diagnosing ADD and ADHD has just become more common because of how bored the students are in school. Many students have a hard time concentrating in class because of the way it is maintained. In my classroom, if I ever have a student who seems to have a hard time concentrating, I will definitely try to incorporate different kinds of teaching methods before suggesting to the parents that they should talk to a doctor about being tested for ADD or ADHD. I would not be surprised if just having different types of lesson plans helps the student focus much more.
    Sir Robinson notes that it is hard for students to focus not just because of how plain the material can be presented, but also because there are many other things to distract them. Rather than trying to take their attention away from the distractions, I would like to use those “distractions” as potential teaching tools in my classroom. If my students are being distracted by a bulldozer outside while we are discussing math, perhaps I can use the bulldozer as a teaching tool by talking about degrees and angles. It may be a stretch, but hopefully it would keep my students focused on the math material.
    Overall, the videos were very interesting and thought provoking. Thanks again for posting them!

  24. Joshua Pollema

    Wow, what a video. It really makes you think about all the different aspects of education. I want to be a teacher. Its been my dream ever since I was in grade school. I have had many, many good teachers and bad teachers in my years of education. I know what kind of teacher i don’t want to be and what kind of teacher I do want to be. Watching this video really made me think about todays education and how it is run. I agree with Sir Robinson that education is different now days. Cultural aspects now change the way that kids learn. I believe that the education system in this country should change to accompany the change in our culture. Kids will always learn at different rates, in different ways, and will have different problems learning. My philosophy for my teaching is too help every kid in any way possible to get a good education so that they can do well in every aspect of their life. I also want it to be fun. I was reminded by this video that all kids are different. Some have learning disabilities, some are smarter than others, and some work harder than others. As a teacher I will need to find a way to connect with all my students. I think its not just one teachers job either. I think teachers can work together to make today’s education a better and more compelling thing. I, as a teacher, want to be a servant. I want to serve my students, my fellow teachers, and the school community. I want to serve so that I can make the education the kids are receiving a better thing for them and their families.

  25. Adam Perez

    I think that at the heart of this is a philosophy of education that is aimed at _forming_ rather than _informing_. I maintain this philosophy that what we do, whether in school, the mall, the playground, the church, or anywhere else, forms and shapes us and our students. That what we _do_ gets to us in our gut – a much more effective way of learning than just the information downloading we are expected to do. What does this mean for education? I think it means that we need to take a more holistic approach to education. That we need to be mindful of the way that media and culture are teaching people and maybe use some of the same tactics and techniques to make ourselves more effective educators. One deliberate way we can do this is to have a more experiential learning environment, feeling our way through concepts and ideas in math and history rather than leaving our finger-painting in the art room and our singing in the music room. In order to break through the assembly line style of education that numbs our students, we need to free them to interact in ways that are appropriate to their gifts and abilities. We need to give them the freedom to interact individually and corporately with what we intend to teach them.

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