Sunday, November 13, 2011

Are You Prepared to be Wrong?

Are you familiar with TED?  It's a non-profit that is dedicated to spreading ideas.  (When it first started, the focus was on Technology, Entertainment, and Design).  Their mission is to spread ideas.  It's grown.  It covers just about any subject you are interested in.  Check it out at Most are very entertaining and usually funny.

Lately, I've been sort of hooked on watching the videos regarding education.  My daughter and I have had a number of discussions on how best to educate her kids.  Although she's an elementary school teacher, she finds that she's exploring ideas on alternative options for her own kids.  I like that she's open minded enough to consider different things. 

Anyway, these TED presenters usually present for 20 mins.  The latest one I found was Sir Ken Robinson. 

In this particular discussion in 2006, he talks about how kids aren't afraid of taking risks.  They aren't afraid of being wrong.  And what he says is, "If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original."  And when we get to adulthood, we have grown to be afraid of being wrong.  So companies are run that way.  And now education is becoming that way.  Largely, in part, due to legislators who decide that certain test scores are required to prove that a school is doing its job.  So teachers and schools teach to tests instead of teaching to interests. 

Sir Ken talks about how having a degree now isn't necessarily what it meant 10, 15, 20 years ago.  It used to mean that if you had a degree, you had a job.  Not anymore.  We know there are plenty of kids who graduate with B.A.'s and M.A's and have to live with the parents because they can't find a job.  And by then, creativity has been taught right out of them. 

Now, I'm not saying that school isn't necessary.  It is.  But what we should never forget is that creativity is necessary, too.  If you have ever interacted with a 4 year old with a crayon in his/her hand, you'll know the discussion about "coloring within the lines".  And no doubt you know and/or pondered the controversy about it.

I am one of those people who cringe whenever I hear the proclamation, "We've always done it that way."  No doubt uttered by those who are just to afraid to be wrong.  How about you?  Are you prepared to be wrong?

1 comment:

Ms. A said...

I couldn't agree more. So much emphasis is being put on test scores and rankings and finances, the true education of children is taking a backseat. Personally, I think it has also taken a lot of that "special" individuality out of many of the teachers.