Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Element - Ken Robinson

I'm in the midst of reading The Element by Sir Ken Robinson. I love the idea of arriving at your element so I decided to wordle the following:

The element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion.
It’s the place where the things we love to do and the things we are good at come together.

When people arrive at the Element, they feel most themselves, most inspired, and achieve at their highest levels.
Sir Ken Robinson

Here's what I came up with:

You can watch Sir Ken Robinson on Youtube.


  1. I just received this email forward today - this is why we have the accountability movement ... and how the general public perceives education. And this is why we moved away from the creativity educators tried to instill in the 70's and 80's ... think "open classrooms" and "no right answers, just higher-level thinking." The results were disastrous.

    1958 - 2008 / 50 Years of Math

    Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $2.58. The counter-girl took my $3. I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my pocket & gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel & 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I
    sensed her dis-comfort & tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.

    Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since 1958:

    1. Teaching Math In 1958

    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

    2. Teaching Math In 1968

    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

    3. Teaching Math In 1978

    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

    4. Teaching Math In 1988

    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 & his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

    5. Teaching Math In 1998

    A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish & inconsiderate & cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our wood-lands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20.. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds & squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, & if you feel like crying, it's okay.

  2. Well, I definitely see and live the progression. The trouble in schools is that we just aren't good at balance. We tend to jump on one bandwagon or another.
    I think the successful educators are ones that can balance. Being aware of all sides is important. Being aware and then attempting to delve in what makes us uncomfortable balances us even more.

    2+2 will always be 4, should always be 4. There are some elements of education that must be taught without compromise. However, I do think it's important to recognize that not all kids will be successful academically and I like the idea of introducing kids to self-discovery and the beginning of discovering their "element." I think there is room for this in public education.