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Through the Education Lens

NEW POST: The MFA (Master of Fine Arts) as the new MBA?

CJ Westerberg, July 15, 2013 9:07 PM

pendulum.sir-ken.STEM.STEAM.robinson.jpg



Thumbnail image for SirKenR4.jpg "A study of the educational background of leaders
in 652 engineering companies in Silicon Valley,
you would expect that they
had a background in science, engineering and mathematics,
yet . . .  40% had backgrounds in science and engineering,
60% had backgrounds in the arts and humanities."
-Sir Ken Robinson at the 17:56 mark talking about Liberal Arts, non-official transcript
and the kind of "data" CJ Westerberg finds valuable

 A Swing in the STEM vs. Humanities Pendulum?
VIDEO Below

DSC_0163-1_2.jpgby C.J. Westerberg

As a fan of Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk and other chats, I was curious to see & hear how he handled a series of Q&As at a Pearson event.

After all, Sir Ken is outspoken against standardized learning and education, and is a huge advocate for maximizing and leveraging the individual student's unique talents and passions.
 
Pearson is the giant education corporate entity that profits from the collective, the scalable, and mass data collection. Think of all those tests, text-books and test-preps, for example,which don't exactly promote the concept of student individual strengths and talents, and quirky perspectives which can lead to breakthrough thinking and doing, which comes from intrinsic motivation as opposed to extrinsic rewards such as grades, scores and the like.

Pearson does do other things like games and excellent learning mini-documentary videos generally with mainly known educators, who are innovative and "non-standardized", with the Pearson imprimatur at the beginning and end of said clip.   
 
Obviously, I was naturally curious about how Sir Ken would handle questions with this context and back-story.  It was a small audience, however, so wasn't sure if these were top of the food-chain sort people who create the Pearson branding aura and image products or the people who crank out the massive programs that are used by teachers, students and administrators - the day-to-day real stuff that affect real people, learning and lives. 

Anyway, you decide for yourself.

Glad Sir Ken is going more for the specifics and talk-stories beyond the one-in-a-thousand ballerina talent and going straight for that epitome and immediate identifier of success which is Silicon Valley (I say that with thoughts and emotions ranging from horror and narrow-casting-ness to admiration and partial agreement).

Is it possible? Has the STEM myopia jumped the shark or is close to it? 
Maybe the smart idea is to stop the false dichotomy of humanities vs. STEM. 
Can we at least advance to STEAM when we talk about STEM already?

"With most careers, you cannot guarantee the outcome. 
People are often steered away from things they love to do,
 particularly in the arts because people say
you won't be able to make a living there .  .  . .
you don't know where you will end up . . .
life is not a straight line . .  ."  - Sir Ken

Here are a few highlights or jump to the video below. 

First 3 minutes:
Competition is not always destructive (of course, IT DEPENDS HOW IT IS DONE)
Adaptability and Creativity are core issues today.

11:36 - The culture of education
The Habits and Habitats (environments of education)

12:27  - A lot of CREATIVE work comes from people seeing things from DIFFERENT perspectives coming together . . . that is why I put together an advisory committee made up
of SCIENTISTS AND ARTISTS AND BUSINESS PEOPLE AND EDUCATORS . . . it was a deliberate attempt to bring together people from different backgrounds

12:30  - The artist and scientist's process is the same

13:44  An ORGANIZATION is an organism not a mechanism.  It's about people's feelings and motivations . . .  it's the spirit of the organization . . .

15:00 You cannot underestimate the impact of LEADERSHIP, how it filters down

16:25   TEACHER EDUCATION - one needs training to be a teacher;  there seems to be an assault on this profession

17:56  - LIBERAL ARTS  - the two quotes featured in this post

19:15 - THE MFA (master of fine arts)  IS THE NEW MBA

Related:
The Decline and Fall of the English Major

A Case for the Humanities Not Made

Why The Humanities Still Matterr

Steve Jobs: Liberal Arts Essential for Innovation via The Daily Riff

Time to Change STEM to STEAM via The Daily Riff

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