Erik Richardson

Teacher, Richardson Ideaworks, Inc.


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What story do you think would motivate increased support for education?

History shows that an appropriately powerful story can drive support for education at levels from the student in the desk to the budget decision makers on Capitol Hill. The space race is the best recent example. What are your ideas for stories that could ignite the public imagination and fuel a similar, large-scale renaissance?

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    Apr 8 2011: The main problem of the current education system is that takes a perfect young aspiring child and transforms him in a little wheel in the Economic Monetary System. Is not the fact that a diploma is not a guarantee to get a job in the future, is our way of reasoning and invest in children like in a corporation. Is this qualification worth the money+time invested? IF you will be a doctor the answer is YES, if you want and you are passionate about MUSIC there is no guarantee that you will be successfully, where successful =money - not happiness, interior achievement or passion about what you are doing.
    Today, education in a large scale, is just another Economic feature to make money from access to real information.
    knowledge is Power, knowledge comes from critical thinking and assessment, there is no way we can revolutionise an education system only by appending nice stories or final goals like - you can be an Astronaut one day.
    Another point that i want to make is the fact that deceiving is part of the economic game. Yes, you can go and learn a skill - in 5 years - and after that you find it obsolete.
    Educational systems that are designed only for the youth will fail, like the current one is failing, we can consider education or skills learning a matter of the first 20 years of life and after that you are tagged with it for the rest of your life.
    What are you? Well i am a doctor. What are you? Well i am a teacher. Our way of tagging people accordingly to their skills is just as raciest like tagging people accordingly to the place of birth, skin colour or ancestors.

    The industrial revolution is not over. We are talking about this like is over. Well is not. It just becomes much more industrial by being more and more automatised. Is not the industrial revolution that is over, our role like 'human capital' in the industrial revolution is OVER.
    This is not a bad thing on the large scale, we can produce more, better, cheaper, but robots cannot buy stuff.
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      Apr 8 2011: An interesting line of thought, Ady. I'm not talking about stories, though, as some kind of carrot tacked on to the current process. I am talking about a story that answers the "why." You have the spirit of the question, although you seem to be offering a critique of the current story instead of an alternative. It's a start. It's definitely a start. :-D
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      Apr 8 2011: Along with all of that (Which I agree with) you mentioned and I have come to realsie that it is in fact the 'System' and not the content of the system. The content is amazing but the system simply does not allow for a child to become a Musician or an Artist a Writer or an Actor. It suggests that these are all things that we should consider after we have gained our academic education which by the way the 'System' is designed is delivered via a Teacher in the front of the class and a pupil who sits in a desk and if you cannot sit still for hours on end days on end months on end you are labeled with ADHD. Which I am not convinced in many cases is true. If not being able to learn this was means you have ADHD then maybe we should create different ways of learning the same subject matter. It is not a one size fits all.
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        Apr 9 2011: lol. I was just having this same conversation today with my school administrator—talking about how we need classes and lessons that involve physical activity with their whole bodies, integrated into all of the areas of the curriculum, and spread out throughout the day.
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    Apr 7 2011: Today, I have just returned from teaching a workshop on creative writing and story boarding. What is glaringly obvious is the two kinds of learner (I speak very generally) The ones who want to be more physical and the ones who are quite happy to sit and write all day. Neither one is right or wrong but I feel that the education system (not the content of the prgramme) the system is not designed to cater for the two styles of learning. Sir Ken is dead on when he talks about the many ways in which we learn and take on board information and how that information becomes our passion. The challenge would be to overhaul the entire system of delivery and then to adapt it so that everyone benefits. That would be a compelling story.
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      Apr 7 2011: That's a good point, Lee, and I am currently working on a couple of small research projects/grants to get more physical activity integrated into the school days, so I share the idea. I want to explore your idea a little further by asking: what about your system would make someone, say, want to do homework instead of wandering off to watch t.v., or to put in extra time on a class project instead of going out to wander around at the mall?
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        Apr 7 2011: I still go back to the idea that seems to speak to me, which is to tailor the learning to the individual. Now I realise that we cannot have 25 children in a class with 25 Teachers, but it would seem to be fairly simple to say, block learning into styles and then create the pregramme around that. Maybe not for all of the learning process but certainly for some. I grew into learning as I got older but as a young boy I remember learning easiest in a very visual and physical way. So if a Teacher had said to me "The trajectory of that football is..." i would have seen the physicality of the math problem and related to easier. Same with music, art and drama. In this workshop I was teaching I was surprised to see how many of the children (age about 9/10) wanted to get up and act out their story board and several did not want to take a break when it came and had to be pushed out of the door to get some air. The workshop also brought together group cooperation and the outcome was shared.
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          Apr 7 2011: So this could, for instance, make them better at math. The question is: why? What will they use that math talent for? Bigger and better war machines? Something vague and hopeful like "happiness" or "a more just world"?

          It costs time, energy, and money to re-vamp the schools to work on the model you suggest (maybe a good model, mind you). What is the holy grail that this will help society find?
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        Apr 7 2011: Eric, if you go to my website and check out the area on story boarding you are welcome to use what I have come up with if it is of any use to you.
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    Apr 7 2011: All stories, since all have different interest, likewise education is for all
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      Apr 7 2011: There are all kinds of stories out there now, so if you are right, shouldn't our educational system be working? Wouldn't people from the school hallways to the Capitol rotunda be working like crazy for the cause?
  • Apr 6 2011: One in which creativity and individuality are upheld as things to be greatly honored, while also maintaining a sense of co-existence with the other living creatures and people on this planet.

    The greatest story we can tell our children (and ourselves) now is that we have far greater capacity for creation and destruction than we are aware of, and that we have the ability to make things happen for ourselves. The universe is ever expanding, ever changing, as well as our understanding of the physics that describe those changes. The best thing we can do now is to release the reins of control. The renaissance would erupt spontaneously and take us further than we can imagine. I guess in a way the story we should tell ourselves to bring about this change would be one of endless possibility and imagination.

    No more standardization, no more government control, no more homogenization. Allow individuals to flourish within a community, and that community will flourish as well.