In one of our TELL courses, we have discussed one of Robinson’s video about education. I was really intrigued when I saw the video the first time and wanted to know more about this man. Watching his video made me realize that we should open our eyes when it comes to educating our pupils. Creativity is indeed difficult to find in this culture of standardization in which we teach and test our pupils all in the same way. However, you often see the tendency of fostering differentiation in schools. But how do we want to promote differentiation and creativity when our educational system stems from the intellectual culture of the enlightenment period?
I am personally an advocate of promoting creativity in our educational system. Sir Ken Robinson’s video about changing the paradigm, shows that pupils lost their creativity the moment they got educated. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Aren’t we aiming for an environment in which our pupils ought to be able to find out what their strengths are and what their real talents are? For centuries now, pupils are labelled by their age and not by their abilities and talents. Even though their level of cognitive knowledge is also taking into consideration when placing them in a category, we should not forget that there are many other factors we should take into consideration. For example, the multiple intelligences. Our standardized tests are almost always based on the visual, verbal or logical intelligence. There are many many pupils who prefer other ways of testing over these written tests. Moreover, these written tests are all based on reproduction. We let our pupils reproduce what we teach them. But what we really should do is create an environment in which we teach them how to think rather than what to think. This standardized culture prompted a lack of creativity and divergent thinking and it is now our job to change this. According to Sir Ken Robinson, ‘we should be waking them up to what is inside of themselves’. And I absolutely agree with Robinson.
One way to do this is by integrating technology in our educational system. We already use different tools to engage our pupils with the methodology. We already use different tools to explain different aspects of the methodology. So why can’t we use it to test our pupils on their knowledge of the methodology? This, however, doesn’t mean to substitute the pen and paper for an Ipad but to create certain programmes in which we can test our pupils in different ways.
Even though, I am not really fond of technology inside the classroom yet it does give you access to a variety of tools. I think if you use it wisely, you and your pupils can achieve more than just reproducing what’s in the book. Sir Ken Robinson’s videos made me also think of the poem I had used for the young adult fiction course.
We should not be the one who tread on our pupils’ dream.