A couple weeks ago, I finished listening to Sir Ken Robinson's The Element. The book acts as an accessible educational treatise and claims that we need to do better at preparing students for an unknowable future, one without a priority on standardized tests.
I can generally run with that. Standardized tests don't mean much beyond a student's ability to do that test that day; the breakdown of academic subjects is archaic and does not reflect the slushy reality of day-to-day living.
But I find the book's emphasis on "breaking the mold" a little... lacking. The overall tone seemed to reflect a direction in education that concerns me a little: I call it "TEDizeation."
TEDization refers to catering to the ideals that people see in TED talks. TED talks are popular, but not necessarily good. TED creates a false equivalence between the presenter and the research, and prioritizes inspiration over substance. People come out of these talks feeling good, but they don't necessarily carry the nuance needed for lasting change. I feel like The Element fits in that cookiecutter, insofar as it prioritizes passion, despite the ease by which our passions are misguided. It's not wrong... but it's artificial.
On You Are Not So Smart, a recent episode (embedded above) highlighted how our notions of the "self" change how we act like "fully realized" individuals. I've embedded it above. It's a good supplement to The Element, since Robinson's book comes off as highly self-indulgent. But I'll likely post more on that later.
But until then, I'd just like to exercise some caution about feeling like TED ideals are the ideals we want to imbue students with.
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