Burn the schools


Burn the schools. Sir Ken Robinson claimed that School kills creativity. NASA studies prove that we start out as creative geniuses, but that by the time we reach adulthood, only 2 percent of us still are.

What we need now are less worker robots, plodding along to the unchanging production rules of the industrial age. We need more agile thinkers who can react and pivot fast to the ever-changing impact of technology on our society, work and wellbeing.

We need to set a match to how we educate our children and fast.

Fifteen years ago, I met a radical un-schooler. Not only was she NOT sending her kids to school, but she wasn’t even setting a curriculum or following any plan or pattern at home. What she was doing was taking her lead form what the kids were interested in at the time … aged 3 and 6 (more or less). The 3-year-old could read. They knew everything I knew about dinosaurs and more, they could do basic math … they knew the constellations. But more than what they knew, was how they communicated it … with passion, energy, belief.

My friend asked me at the time, ‘What did your parents always tell you to stop doing and to do something else?’

The answer was: reading books.

And what do I do for a living? I write and have done so for decades.

But this is not about me, its about our schools pumping out dull, uninterested people who have no clue what to do with their lives. From whom every original thought and breath has been beaten, in order to chain them to a machine.

Imagine a school with no classes, no groups, no hierarchy. But with many rooms, each one with a specialised teacher sitting in it. On any given day, a child will choose which room they enter and what they do there. They will stay there for as many days as they like, before moving on to another. They will pursue what moves them, what they feel strongly about, and they will learn and remember it for a very long time.

The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, Einstein might have said. Our world has changed. But how we educate our society has not. THAT is asking for trouble as generations of people emerge into adulthood badly equipped for the reality they encounter. With the wrong skills, the wrong knowledge, the wrong approach.

When I finished high school, I was told I had to get lots of A’s because those results would follow me through life. They have not. Then I was told I had to get a good, relevant degree because that piece of paper would follow me for the rest of my life. It did not. It was not until I started to do what was in my heart from the start that anything started following me for the rest of my life.

I am not unique.

I am not special.

We should let more people follow what is in their hearts. We need happier, creative, proactive, positive people. We need to change the world and how it currently works.

To do that, we need a new education.