School life hasn’t been that easy for the Jewson family. We’ve had some ups and downs and it’s led us to changing schools recently. Uprooting them from their friends and the security they provide to their lives was a really tough decision. But we have been desperately wanting to do the right things that allow them to thrive rather than simply survive.
A friend recently pointed me in the direction of an amazing animation of Sir Ken Robinsons “Changing Education Paradigms” (you can look it up on YouTube) – it’s a real eye opener – I would recommend every parent and teacher takes 5 and watches it.
Essentially it explores the fact that our current education system, where we stick tiny children in one end of a factory production line and pick them out “educated” at the other end, is killing creativity and divergent thinking in our children.
It talks about a study done on 1500 kindergarten children who were tested for divergent thinking (eg being asked – how many uses can you think of for a paperclip? – a normal adult might think of 10-15 uses, if you are good you may think of 200 uses) – 98% of kindergarten children were amazing at this and were graded as geniuses. The same children were tested 5 years later – only 32% were genius level, by 13-15yrs it was down to 10%. Adults aged 25yrs were down to 2% genius level at divergent thinking.
How scary is that? Our childrens’ creativity and “multi-angled” way of looking at the world is funnelled down such a straight path with our “one question, one answer” way of educating, that innovation is completely stifled by the time they are teenagers. Does that sound like an education that suits this unbelievably fast paced, intensely stimulating phase in our global evolution? You used to go to school, maybe go to university, get a job – but that outcome is no longer guaranteed – the world is changing – fast.
Both Kurt and I come from families of teachers, so don’t get me wrong, I think the majority of teachers do an amazing and very difficult, yet rewarding job – I’m just wondering if the whole system is set up right – perhaps we need to divergently think about it?