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The Second Climate Change Problem

Written By: - Date published: 12:09 pm, March 12th, 2015 - 23 comments
Categories: climate change, education, Revolution, schools, Social issues, sustainability, tertiary education - Tags:

I am always learning new things. I have a new job and accordingly I have to learn lots of new stuff quickly.

As part of that process I have been directed to Sir Ken Robinson

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence

He has many lectures online but this is one I listened to most recently. It is only about 18 minutes long.


23 comments on “The Second Climate Change Problem ”

  1. aerobubble 1

    I was educated a lot by TV. Listening to nat podcasts recently and heard this economic finacal tell KAtherine that the rich are the wealth creators and need protecting. Sorry, much of the wealth created by Gates, etc was done initially in a garage,not by the rich. Even Buffet says he is not the wealth creator. Yet still the rancid nonsence tgat we should not tax the richest, that they earnt it, etc, when value is manufactured by consumers ecinomic activity, and wealth is created by the great majority not a few rich who largely are tapped out of producing any new growth. So no its not the kids, its the deplorable state of what passes as a free media, they cant even get the basics clear.

  2. tracey 2

    As long as the focus on education is getting people “into jobs”, we will be driving many youngsters into trouble.

  3. The Murphey 3

    A good place to begin would be a description change. The current moniker is ambiguous and open to interpretational misdirection

    Environmental pollution (destruction)

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    Its all another tiresome fad:

    Cultivate Creativety ??? What in the hell does that MEAN.

    Yes apart from the obvious. For goodness sake some asian countries are notorious for their rote learning.

    What we DONT teach is real creativity is a very hard slog.
    Unless its creative play in which the kids are far better than the adults could ever be.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Yes apart from the obvious. For goodness sake some asian countries are notorious for their rote learning.

      Give it another couple of years under National’s National Standards and so will we. The idiotic employers and parents will understand the degrees though. Unfortunately, our children will not know how to think.

      • Scintilla 4.1.1

        The learn by rote thing is still alive and well at secondary school. Trust me, I’m a (relief) teacher! I took two year 13 classes for Tourism the other day, both using the same workbook that is the text for that particular unit standard. They did a written review of the main points (allowed to look back at text) and we went through the answers at the end (which I had a copy of). I asked a student to frame the answer in their own words and was told they were required to give the answers word for word as they were written in the text. Next class, same thing. And these students tell me that “they just think we’re dumb, miss” and “we get into trouble if it’s not exactly the same.” I suspect this is a reflection of how NZQA marks this standard whereby only answers using the exact terminology are acceptable.

        I have come across this before in other classes. Spoon feeding. The kids know it and they are in a curious head-space where they feel diminished and that effort is futile, even though the work and effort required is not that great.

        • Capn Insano

          Really? I admit a lot of my school memories are hazy but I’m fairly certain we were taught the exact opposite; we weren’t necessarily to recite things word for word from sources, in some classes at least, but to write it in our own words. The science classes were some that this applied to I think and I’m pretty sure English was as well.

          • Scintilla

            You’re right Capn, writing in your own words is one of the key ways to develop literacy and is usual practice in most classes. However, getting pass rates up means that at times, copying and repetition become the fallback. In the example I gave, the marking requirements mean answers have to be in the exact terminology, just as the text has set them out – this is NZQA marking requirements, it is not set by teachers.

            This is a classic example of the dilemma: What is education for? The Tourism unit standard is part of the entry level qualifications to either get a job in the industry or go on to further tertiary training. It’s basic stuff you have to know to do any job in the travel/tourist industry.

            Schools are doing more of this type of education, where the foundation papers for some polytech/private trainers’ courses are taught.

    • tracey 4.2

      If you watched it you would know what he means by that phrase “cultivate creativity” (note it is not in capitals as you suggest).

    • Coffee Connoisseur 4.3

      Cultivating Creativity…..


      mind blowing.

  5. Scintilla 5

    Ken’s right of course, only I can’t see that shift to a creative paradigm happening whilst our secondary schools are largely treated as holding pens by governments. Students who don’t want to be at school, for all sorts of reasons, are kept there because there are no jobs for them. If they are at school they are not counted as unemployed. Many go on to “holding pattern” courses for the varieties of work one used to learn just fine “on the job.” Which of course they have to pay for. It is a colossal waste of time and talent.

    However, if you are lucky enough to attend Scots College, you have a ready-made pathway to a career in the creative industries:

    “We have the same technology in that sound recording studio as they used for Avatar and Lord of the Rings,” Mr Yule said.

    The building was hoped to make Scots College a training ground for those wishing to enter Wellington’s bustling film and creative industries, with collaborations between the school and Weta workshop already in place.

    Weta would use the premises as a training ground for their own staff, and there were plans for robotics students to pay a visit to Weta, where robotics were used on a daily basis.

    “We are extraordinarily lucky to be located on the doorstep of one of the world’s most innovative centres of creativity,” Mr Yule said.

    • tracey 5.1

      Hence ken speaks of revolution not evolution… not tinkering with what we have but starting anew

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    A great speech.

    “This linearity thing is a problem…”

  7. KJT 7

    Our education system was heading in the right direction with the New New Zealand Curriculum.

    Student centred learning helping children develop their skills, knowledge and abilities across the broad spectrum of subjects while allowing for Teachers professional judgement, and the diversity of learners.

    There was beginning to be some progress against the mind numbing rote standards, bringing them into line with research about learning, including many in NCEA and especially from some of the ITO’s

    All trashed by National, as soon as they got into power.

    The real aims of National’s “Education” policy.

    • Scintilla 7.1

      I agree – the NZ Curriculum is fantastic.

      What is frightening:

      Rupert Murdoch and his aspirations for “improving” education. He owns big educational publishing arms (Pearson) and has developed a digital platform for the US market.

      “a tablet-based digital learning platform that will customize content, assessments, and course materials to each student using performance data and will be delivered, at least initially, through a partnership with AT&T”

      This means that standards-based education (what we have) can be created, delivered online and assessed by their own moderators at Murdoch Inc. It turns teachers into classroom managers and technical “assistants” who have no say over content or context of learning. You can bet that the government will still want to keep schools, so the parents can work, but they will cut teacher numbers and increase class sizes. Your children will spend most of their time in front of a screen. Murdoch and Fox news will be responsible for the tone of education – the sort of ideologies that permeate learning, a kind of knowledge gate-keeping that promotes uniformity and efficiency.
      Murdoch Education

      Maybe the public are okay with having Murdoch decide what our children learn and, let’s not forget, have access to all that personal information about students. He did so well with the hacking scandal in Britain.

  8. trendy lefty 8

    How is Tourism even a school subject? And, rote learning some things isn’t a bad way to learn. But I agree this old git isn’t really saying anything. Make education like agriculture? Terrible idea, given the monoculture for purely economic gain that is the pattern of most modern agriculture. I’d say we are already there. Make it more like home gardening maybe.

    • Scintilla 8.1

      Rote learning is not all bad. I believe it is necessary for foundation skills to maintain your independence – so that we can read, measure, calculate, write etc all by ourselves without reliance on technology. Confidence and self-belief rests on competence – the kid who knows they can do it “all by myself’ – is the kid who tries out the next thing.

      That clip isn’t one of Ken’s best. Our curriculum gives teachers the framework and the spaces within it, where we can build creative, critical thinking. If we want innovators, if we want future adults who are curious, courageous and who understand the importance of making mistakes, who get passionate about something and give it their all, who can actually “do” deep thought and understand that sometimes slow percolation is the way forward …. then education needs to embrace strategies that enable it.

      We have the curriculum for it, but nat standards and ncea strangle the life out of it. Students at ncea level are, on average, doing an internal assessment in at least one subject every fortnight.

  9. saveNZ 9

    National standards for primary school kids are ridiculous. Kids develop at different ages.

    To be giving some kids, under achieved at 5 is turning little minds into thinking they are failures while forcing teachers into something wrong.

    Vitally important ‘Free play ‘for kids is under thread as education is turning little kids into National Act Mini Me’s with zero connection to others or their environment.

    Here is one of the best articles that all parents or people in education should read. It also sheds some light on what is going wrong in the US.


  10. saveNZ 10

    In Finland which has the best educational outcomes in the world, children do not go to school and learn to read until they are 7 years old. Free play is very important.

    NZ used to have one of the best educations in the world. It is till good, but under attack with this ideology from people who have no knowledge or understanding or even concepts of basic goodness, like Rubert Murdoch and hekia Parata.

    You would think the government would look at what is working the best in the world and try to adopt that.

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