If you want to be inspired and gain valuable insight into how to teach the youth, look no further than Sir Ken Robinson. In the video above, Sir Ken is speaking about the current model of education and how it is stifling our students. He speaks about our society needing to prepare students to be active members in globalization, and he begs us to stop telling students they are either academic or non-academic. These are the same exact things that math teachers need to keep in mind, because all students are able to learn mathematics. We can no longer let students believe they just aren’t good at math.
The Common Core Standards have an interesting common ground with what Sir Ken Robinson is discussing in the above video. He mentions that schools need to foster divergent thinking instead of just hammering one way to learn a subject. Common Core is very similar, because it is changing the way students are taught to do things. Common Core wants students to think outside the box and solve problems with a variety of strategies. As Sir Ken said, divergent thinking is the capability of seeing many different answers to a question, not just one answer.
If teachers want to see their students prepared for a future that hasn’t even been dreamed up yet, they must embrace the divergent thinking that Sir Ken Robinson speaks of. We want our children to be able to solve problems without becoming overwhelmed with a lack of confidence in finding the solution. They must be taught problem solving skills early on, and learn that not everything will be handed to them. Our students are resilient when we let them be. Teachers must instill in students the belief that they can solve a problem and that it is okay to ask for help.
I found the part about ADHD in Sir Ken Robinson’s speech very fascinating. It is true that more and more children are being diagnosed every day. As teachers, we have all seen the students who are not able to sit through circle time or even lunch. But, is medication the answer? Sir Ken Robinson seems to think that medicating our children is not the answer. He even goes as far as recommending that we not put children to sleep with medication, but instead waking them up. That means teachers must find ways to challenge and engage the students who are fidgeting and unable to sit still, because Sir Ken is correct, this is the most stimulating time on Earth. And unfortunately, it is only going to become more distracting.