Friday, May 9, 2008

If they made you, they can't be all bad!

A strategic planning consultant asked a reticent group to introduce themselves, sharing the last book they read or the last original thought the remembered having. We all chose books.

Jeff Utecht, through the twitter universe, led me to a 2006 TED speech by Sir Ken Robinson

An entertaining and thought provoking video, but as a former music educator - in a state-run school (since we have no "national education system in the U.S.), I respectfully disagree.

We need to stop beating up our educational system. I have had a rich life - rich in wonderfully creative experiences and opportunities, and guess what? I am a full-blown product of public education! My 3rd grade teacher nurtured my creativity in poetry while Ms. Strozier nurtured my love of instrumental music and Ms. Robinson gave me chances to sing. As I travel to different schools, I see so many loving and dedicated educators just like the teachers I have. Yet we tend to focus more on what' missing than what is or what could be.

We blame the educational system for our human shortcomings. Schools can nurture all the
creativity they want, but if parents tell kids to "cut that racket out" once they get home or farm them out to activities that keep them too tired to find the time to create, the morning has been nearly nullified.

No matter what the educational system may have been "designed" to produce, it is powered by individuals. In the paraphrased words of a former administrator, "Forget the curriculum - teach these kids to enjoy their time making music with you".

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