Sir Kenneth Robinson
1. Education in the US is based on conformity rather than the reality of diversity. Sir Kenneth highlights the point that students suffer from “childhood”. He says that children prosper when a curriculum touches and accesses their interest and curiosity. His point that, if you sit a child down and expect them to do 6 hours of office scribing, you get wiggly children is so evident in today's schools. I believe that this is more relevant now than it ever was. With drop-out rates at an all-time high in many areas, we need to be finding ways to excite the interests of students, encouraging them to explore and expand their interests rather than just having them become pencil pushers in classrooms.
2. Another point raised is that the US has de-professionalized teachers. Teachers’ roles have often come down to proctoring standardized tests. Tests should support learning rather than obstruct it, according to Sir Kenneth. I have often heard a teacher tell students to pay attention because they have to get through a certain amount of curriculum in order to be ready for an upcoming test. To me, that does not indicate an atmosphere of true learning, just rote memorization. The US does not invest in teacher development as it should. Why would you do this if you are only asking teachers to teach to a test with unimaginative curriculum tools? Districts are pressed for funding as it is and teacher development erroneously stands behind infrastructure problems in terms of necessity.
3. Discretion for teaching needs to be moved back to the local level rather than looking at education as an industrial, mechanistic system. I am not sure I am completly agreement with this idea. If this were to happen, would we have different lenses placed on history; those lenses being dependent on the region of the country one lived in? An example: the South might view and teach about the Civil War in quite a different way than the North might. Whose "truth" would we believe?