ADHD, homeschooling

Favorite Homeschool Quotes, Sir Ken Robinson Edition

If you’ve never listened to Sir Ken Robinson speak, you’re missing out. Interestingly, he is a big advocate of public education and of reforming that education. He inadvertently endorses homeschooling in much of his speeches. Much of what he endorses is not doable in the public schools but is totally doable in homeschooling!


Here’s a selection of his quotes which I think are particularly poignant in the homeschooling context.  

“The fact is that given the challenges we face, education doesn’t need to be reformed — it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.”

― Ken Robinson

“Creativity is as important now in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.”

― Ken Robinson

“Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement. And it’s the one thing that I believe we are systematically jeopardizing in the way we educate our children and ourselves.”

― Ken Robinson

“We have to go from what is essentially an industrial model of education, a manufacturing model, which is based on linearity and conformity and batching people. We have to move to a model that is based more on principles of agriculture. We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process; it’s an organic process. And you cannot predict the outcome of human development. All you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish.”

― Ken Robinson

“Human communities depend upon a diversity of talent not a singular conception of ability”

― Ken Robinson

“The Element is about discovering yourself, and you can’t do this if you’re trapped in a compulsion to conform. You can’t be yourself in a swarm.”

― Ken Robinson

“Young children are wonderfully confident in their own imaginations … Most of us lose this confidence as we grow up”

― Ken Robinson

“We stigmatize mistakes. And we’re now running national educational systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make — and the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities.”

― Ken Robinson

“To be creative you actually have to do something.”

― Ken Robinson

 “The future for education is not in standardizing but in customizing; not in promoting groupthink and ‘deindividuation’ but in cultivating the real depth and dynamism of human abilities of every sort.”

― Ken Robinson

“Sometimes getting away from school is the best thing can happen to a great mind.”

― Ken Robinson

“One Size Does Not Fit All Some of the most brilliant, creative people I know did not do well at school. Many of them didn’t really discover what they could do—and who they really were—until they’d left school and recovered from their education.”

― Ken Robinson

“The gardener does not make a plant grow. The job of a gardener is to create optimal conditions.”

― Ken Robinson

“One problem with the systems of assessment that use letters and grades is that they are usually light on description and heavy on comparison. Students are sometimes given grades without really knowing what they mean, and teachers sometimes give grades without being completely sure why. A second problem is that a single letter or number cannot convey the complexities of the process that it is meant to summarize. And some outcomes cannot be adequately expressed in this way at all. As the noted educator Elliot Eisner once put it, “Not everything important is measurable and not everything measurable is important.”

― Ken Robinson

“Robert Sternberg is a professor of psychology at Tufts University and a past president of the American Psychological Association. He is a long-term critic of traditional approaches to intelligence testing and IQ. He argues that there are three types of intelligence: analytic intelligence, the ability to solve problems using academic skills and to complete conventional IQ tests; creative intelligence, the ability to deal with novel situations and to come up with original solutions; and practical intelligence, the ability to deal with problems and challenges in everyday life.”

― Ken Robinson

“Outside of school, though, we were often defined by our disabilities. We were “handicapped”—a bit like a species. Often when people have a disability, it’s the disability that other people see rather than all the other abilities that coexist with their particular difficulty. It’s why we talk about people being “disabled” rather than “having a disability.” One of the reasons that people are branded by their disability is that the dominant conception of ability is so narrow. But the limitations of this conception affect everyone in education, not just those with “special needs.” These days, anyone whose real strengths lie outside the restricted field of academic work can find being at school a dispiriting experience and emerge from it wondering if they have any significant aptitudes at all.”

― Ken Robinson

“Personalization means teachers taking account of these differences in how they teach different students. It also means allowing for flexibility within the curriculum so that in addition to what all students need to learn in common, there are opportunities for them to pursue their individual interests and strengths as well.”

― Ken Robinson

“The task of education is not to teach subjects: it is to teach students.”

― Ken Robinson

“If you think of it, the whole system of public education around the world is a protracted process of university entrance. And the consequence is that many highly-talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not, because the thing they were good at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatized.”

― Ken Robinson

“The whole purpose of public education throughout the world is to produce university professors.”

― Ken Robinson

“All children have talents, and we squander them –quite ruthlessly.”

― Ken Robinson

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If you would like to see more from Sir Ken Robinson, I recommend this video. (I disagree on some of his opinions  like about ADHD and environmentalism but still recommend the video.)

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

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