The GSV board was honored to receive scholarships to attend The Colorado Education Initiative’s (formerly know as the Legacy Foundation) 6th Annual Legacy Luncheon on April 17th in Denver to celebrate the CEI’s work in innovation in public schools. We were among 1,500 individuals from across Colorado representing educators, policy makers, foundations, and business and community leaders. We divided to attend breakout sessions on topics focused on policies and best practices for creating, enhancing and maintaining healthy, safe and welcoming schools for all students.
The keynote speaker, *Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D, delivered his consistent message that children learn differently and it is our job as parents, educators and mentors to help them learn what is in them, and the world around them. He explained that education is a personal experience, and our system does not address the biography and circumstances of the individual, and we need to expand our curriculums to foster creativity. Dr. Robinson emphasized the importance of individualized learning and discussed the problem that “standardized tests have become the purpose of education rather than a means to improve education” and these assessments “marginalize things that can’t be quantiﬁed easily.” He further discussed how education should be “rich, diverse, creative and engage people in their interests” and that everyone needs to see education as a partnership and an investment.
Dr. Robinson drew a colorful analogy between our education system and farming; Industrial versus Organic. The goal of industrial farming, much like our current education system, focuses on mass production and yield, while overusing the land and resources. In contrast, organic farming is focused on the sustainability of the land, culture and quality. The analogy provided a clear picture that quality education, like organic farming (goal for future education system), provides the conditions for growth while the industrial process (current education system) is creating waste.
In conclusion, Sir Ken Robinson introduced a unique and interactive education program in Cateura, Paraguay, called “Landfill Harmonic” (click to view the 3 minute video and learn more) that illustrates the beauty of creating a system of education for a future where our children can flourish.
*Sir Ken Robinson is one of the world’s leading speakers on the development of creativity, innovation, and human resources in education and in business. His 2006 TED talk is the most viewed in TED’s history (27 million views).