Monday, January 25, 2016

Further Thoughts on the Education Paradigm

*This post has been written as part of my journey through my Master's Degree in Curriculum & Planning through Brandon University

Changing the Education Paradigm. (2008) Uploaded to TED. Availble onine at: https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms

     Sir Kenneth Robinson's speech, "Changing the Education Paradigm" has recorded over 1.6 million views through the TED platform and countless more through the various versions uploaded online through text and video platforms. The video is viewed by everyone from pre-service teachers and educational PD attendees to parents and businessmen/women around the world. The graphics of the video and charisma of Robinson make for an engaging video that is often widely accepted despite evidence of argumentum ad verecundiam.My critique of Robinson's speech is available here. Some additional thoughts:

1. On the reference to George Land's research on creativity...

Including the work of George Land in his work leads this author to believe that Sir Kenneth Robinson ironically fell for the trap of argumentum ad verecundiam that he is also accused of. Robinson alludes to George Land’s longitudinal study in the closing minutes of his speech as a means of emphasizing his argument that the present education model deteriorates creativity in children (Robinson, 2008, p. 3, para. 7). Land’s background is that of a general systems scientist and his focus appears to be centred around communications and business (World Business Academy, 2016); while respected in his field Land does not have the background in education to contribute effectively to Robinson’s argument. Ornstein and Hunkins (2013, p. 17-18) warn of the dangers of having unqualified professionals influencing the field of curriculum and stress the challenges of having to worry if, “…whether the candidates who take positions are competent”.

Ornstein, A. C., & Hunkins, F. P. (2013). Curriculum: foundations, principles, and issues. New Jersey, US: Pearson Education.
Robinson, K. (2008, June 16). Changing education paradigms. RSA events transcript. Retrieved January 14, 2016, from https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/videos/2010/10/rsa-animate---changing-paradigms/rsa-lecture-ken-robinson-transcript.pdf
World Business Academy. (2016). George Land, PhD. Retrieved January 24, 2016, from https://worldbusiness.org/people/george-land-ph-d/

2. On comparisons between Robinson and John Goodlad... 

Sir Kenneth Robinson echoes the laments of John Goodlad who, in 1969 expressed disenchantment with the results of his study that revealed that, “… rarely did we find individual pupils at work in self-sustaining and inquiry” (Goodlad, 1969; as cited in Ornstein & Hunkins, 2013, p. 83). Goodlad concluded that the education model of the 1960s viewed students as, “... passive reciepents of content” (Goodlad, 1969; as cited in Ornstein & Hunkins, 2013, p. 83), which is one of the three styles of teaching set out by Johann Herbart; coined as, “teaching without education” (Herbart, 1806; as cited in Lundgren, 2015, p. 789). Robinson called for opportunities that awaken students and allow for them to experience excitement and feel invigorated (Robinson, 2008, p. 3, para. 2); the direct opposite of a passive experience. While parallels can be drawn between Robinson and Goodlad this author feels that Goodlad would find offense with being cited alongside a man who has been accused of argumentum ad verecundiam; especially considering that Goodlad felt that school reformers trick the public into thinking that, “all schools are failing” (Goodlad, 2007; as cited in Ornstein & Hunkins, 2013, p. 86).

Lundgren, U. P. (2015). What’s in a name? That which we call a crisis? A commentary on Micheal Young’s article ‘Overcoming the crisis in curriculum theory’. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 47(6), 787-801. doi:10.1080/00220272.2015.1095354
Ornstein, A. C., & Hunkins, F. P. (2013). Curriculum: foundations, principles, and issues. New Jersey, US: Pearson Education.
Robinson, K. (2008, June 16). Changing education paradigms. RSA events transcript. Retrieved January 14, 2016, from https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/pdfs/videos/2010/10/rsa-animate---changing-paradigms/rsa-lecture-ken-robinson-transcript.pdf

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