I started to read Creative Schools (Amazon link) because, as many of you know by now, I want to be a positive force and an agent for change when it comes to education reform. I am deeply passionate about it, and that passion has increased recently since learning more about the issue, and also because and since I now have two kids in school. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
More specifically, I’ve been studying the history of education in America, and learning from people like Ken Robinson and other thought leaders in the space of alternative education to see how I might be able to lend a hand. Personally, my goals would be to see how I might be able to inject entrepreneurship into the curriculum for all schools in America, and potentially even the world.
Ken Robinson has the most watched TED talk in the history of all TED talks called “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” It’s remarkable, and I highly recommend you check it out. Back in 2012, I remember watching that video at the time my son was entering pre-school. Education reform wasn’t on my mind then, though. But recently, as I’ve been learning more and more about alternative education and how children really learn, my passion has grown greatly. I truly want to make a change.
As for Creative Schools, I knew it would be eye-opening for me. It already has confirmed a lot of what I knew about what’s wrong with our education system today: treating students like products on a manufacturing line. Schools, as they are today, are made in a way to pump out factory workers—it’s why there are bells in school and “shifts” between different class periods. But times are changing, and although it’s a slow process, I feel there needs to be some major movement in that arena—like right now.
Within the first thirty pages, entrepreneurship is mentioned five times (woohoo!) as being an important factor in terms of what kinds of qualities are important to lead a fulfilling and happy life, one that can contribute to society—yes, even if you score poorly on school exams.
There’s so much that’s broken in the current education system, and this book really highlights a lot of it. But even more than that, Ken shares his thoughts on what is truly needed to make the reform we need. It’s not just about removing standardized tests, but also about creating a learning environment where the four basic purposes of education are fulfilled in the culture of schools.
Those four purposes are:
- Economical: Education should enable students to become economically responsible and independent. Do they teach basic personal finance in schools? No.
- Cultural: Education should enable students to understand and appreciate their own cultures and to respect the diversity of others.
- Social: Education should enable young people to become active and compassionate citizens.
- Personal: Education should enable young people to engage with the world within them as well as the world around them.
Education is a very personal thing. Every individual student is different with different needs, interests, and desires. The problem is when we tried to industrialize and standardize learning. You get a system where we’re looking for the one “perfect student” that fits into all the preset categories. But it doesn’t and shouldn’t work that way.
So, that’s why I am reading Creative Schools by Ken Robinson. There is change happening now, and I want to, with the influence I’ve gained over the past nine years online, help where I know I can and should.
I picked up a number of other books related to education I plan on reading, but I just wanted to start off the year sharing this one because of this new found energy and focus on bigger and brighter goals beyond the realm of SPI. I think it’s important to have goals outside of your current affairs that you can strive toward and work harder for. This is helping me in my business because the bigger and wider I grow my business, the more influence I can have in this new realm too. Already, plans are being put into place for execution on various projects related to this arena starting later this year, and definitely into 2019. I can’t wait to share those things with you!
If education is something you care deeply about and are concerned about like I am, I’d highly recommend you read this book. It’s an eye-opener, and may fuel you just like it has done for me.Buy the Book on Amazon