I spent time revisiting some old podcasts. One of those was Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talks in 2006 and 2010. It was particularly striking that he spoke about traditional schooling ‘dislocating people’ from their natural talents. The solution? Create the circumstances for natural talents to flourish by transforming schools into something else.
The message is so simple, it’s laughable. Only I wasn’t laughing. It’s been twelve years and we have made little progress despite Robinson’s clarion call to action.
The two questions that I ask are what have we learned and when are we going to get serious? Because in those twelve years, we’ve funnelled millions of curious and talented learners into the sausage machine we call schools. We’ve focussed all of our attention and effort on improvement, driven by a linear approach to learning and a conformity to teaching.
Transforming schooling is, as I have said many times over, the greatest challenge for school and system leaders. I understand that many in the profession fear change and fear what parents may think. I often hear that parents don’t want schools to experiment on children but how can this be an experiment when we’ve seen the result of a one size fits all approach!
As Andy Hargreave said, teaching isn’t for the faint hearted or for shrinking violets. Transforming education demands that we are all revolutionaries and if we haven’t become one in 2018, then we may never be.