Design principles: Ken Robinson

Educational theorist Ken Robinson, whose 2006 TED talk has garnered over 16 million views, takes a more conversational approach at the 2012 Future of Learning Conference, where he concludes with a synthesis of design principles (shortened here without ellipses):

There are some principles that we might observe here.

The first is that education will only work if it is personalized. We have the tools now to contour education to every single student in the system. We never had that before.

Secondly, we have to customize education to the individual communities where it is actually taking place. If you’re a teacher, you are the education system — for those kids.

I think we need to accelerate the shift in the curriculum from subjects to disciplines. A discipline isn’t just propositional knowledge, it’s about skills and processes and procedures.

This supports a shift from knowledge as being static to knowledge as dynamic. We need to engage with the flow of knowledge and with the evolution of understanding, and we therefore need forms of curriculum which are open and dynamic.

We need to move from education being seen as a solitary activity to being seen as a collaborative process. We still teach children in groups — but too rarely do we teach them as groups.

[Another] shift is in assessment. We have to see assessment as moving from judgement to description. We achieve best when out expectations are raised and when we are encouraged and supportive. We need forms of assessment that are empowering.

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