I am finding a common theme across many of these talks. Our children and youth set an example for learning. They are unique, curious, and active learners if provided with the right conditions. Sir Ken Robinson’s talk, “How to Escape Education’s Death Valley” describes what learning could be like if we leveraged the diverse talents they possess vs. pushing conformity across a narrow field of study.
While we are not Finland, we can certainly learn from a system that has a vastly lower drop out rate. They must be doing something to foster a unique learning environment where children thrive and enjoy learning. And the result is they want to keep going and finish, not drop out. Finland sees teaching as an esteemed profession, doesn’t require standardized test, and offers individualized learning, but it’s the embracement of play that I see immense opportunity.
Play can be an outlet for fun and exercise, but can also be an avenue to discovery and sparking curiosity, which we need in American classrooms. Play lets children learn in a more natural way. If classroom environments where a place for play then maybe kids wouldn’t be so eager to go to recess. It would be learning through play that kept them engaged. I think this is where the value we place on teachers comes in. Ensuring that teachers have access to resources, continuing education, and are properly supported will help further alternative ways to learn through play in the classroom.
I also found many takeaways from Robinson’s talk including his proverb like messages about learning. The ones below I personally found to be powerful. What were your takeaways?
“Curiosity is the engine to achievement”
“No learning means no education”
“Human life is inherently creative”
“Education is not a mechanical system it’s a human one”