Changing the Education Paradigm - who's joining the Ken Robinson revolution?!

After watching the videos and hearing this amazing man and his incredible ideas, I now more than ever want to be one of the new wave that changes the way we educate our children.

What's so wrong with wanting to stimulate imagination and creativity, and tap into what makes a student resonate on all levels? I love art, music, drama and anything that sparks creativity and sustains my interest in the subject. Granted that not everything that interests others will interest me, but if it's done creatively, you've got me! Who's to say you can't adopt this approach with others?

In terms of our children, why are we so afraid to let them go a bit over the top, and heaven forbid, have a bit of fun along the road to learning? Some of the best lessons I have been privileged to take part in as an LSA, have been where teachers have made the learning real. Making Shakespeare come alive in an English lesson with puppets made by the students, making the structure of atoms with plasticine and marbles in Science, the list goes on...!

So what are your thoughts on this? My Gangnam Style parody is one of the ways I like to make learning a bit more fun and can engage students with its catchiness - the fact that it is current and popular is also a winner for making it relevant and easy to remember.

Has anyone else got any fun tricks in their teaching arsenal?

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Amen Lucy! Teaching within a performing arts setting I can guarantee that creative subjects do not only help the improvement of students within their subject area, but also communication skills, working within a team, public speaking, interpersonal and communicative skills, and lateral thinking.
The incorporation of creativity within subjects is beneficial to any discipline!

Hi Lucy

How refreshing, I think that making learning FUN and stimulating is by far the most effective way of teaching and learners retaining knowledge. PE being my subject specialism, I find a good way of making lessons fun is by planning activities around recent sporting events and encouraging the learners via facilitated group discussions and fun quizzes to analyse games for the use of Sports Analysis, this encourages the students to link their passion for sport with the required learning outcomes for the lessons.

Hi Sam - thank you :-)
Using quizzes is brilliant - funnily enough, one PE teacher I worked with used to do the same thing when he taught in his Geography lessons, which always went down well and the students learnt tons about the rainforest and the arctic that way.
Thanks Ellie - it is so beneficial if students can gain and use these transferable skills to use to their advantage in other areas. It's all about the green hat baby!
Hi Lucy,

I'm with you on this one! Ken Robinson talks such sense - I find his talks very interesting and inspiring!

I used a bit of Gangham in my maths class last night too! While we watched a bit of the video, we talked about the number of view it has had (over 1 billion since July!!) and used this as a point for general discussion about large numbers. It was a bit of fun as a quick warm up task and everyone had something to add to the discussion. Also, it was a good recap on some number work we had been looking at that. Mostly, it was just fun!

Theresa

Theresa
Hi Theresa

That's so fun you used that in a maths lesson, particularly as maths can be seen as one of the least creative subjects. I thinks it's about using those transferable skills and making it current and relevant to the student's interests. Especially as you related it back to the number of views and hits - genius!

Hi Lucy,

I totally agree. Creative and fun learning is always going to be a winner. A classroom environment that is stress free and inspiring is great for both learner and teacher. As Ellie said, one of the best things about the creativity side of things is the bonus that it adds to learning. Not only will learners discover a new topic in an exciting and imaginative way but they will also be given the opportunity to improve and develop so many everyday people skills (e.g. team work, speaking and listening...).

In my dissertation project at University I looked into the idea of drama taking place in the English primary school curriculum.  When researching it was amazing to me how many people said they were terrified of drama lessons in year 7 - and I thought, is it any surprise really? Some children would have gone straight through their primary education without any use of drama and then be thrown in the deep end at one of the most vulnerable and scary ages/moments in their lives. If practical creativity was more common throughout education it wouldn't be such a shock to the system, it would be the norm, perhaps erasing that fear factor that it holds with some learners.

However, I believe some learners may struggle with the creative side of learning but that's why its so important to have variety.

Hi Emma,

Thank you :-)

I was one of the terrified in year 7 - total lack of confidence! I did a lot of plays and drama in primary school, but it was always really forced upon us by the teacher and her direction, without the room for us to be naturally creative as children are if they are allowed to be!

Variety is definitely an important factor - best to shake it up a bit or they get into habits and creativity stagnates. You're right that some people have an inability to embrace creativity, but I think that goes back to the fear element and lack of confidence or esteem.

Hi Lucy,

I am all for this!! When at school I have learnt most from the lessons that were most fun! Such as having to writes songs for information needed for my English essays, we then put them to a well known tune. I still remember them 5 years on! I Surely an environment that is stress free and fun will benefit learners most and they will hopefully learn more. I don't see why a fun aspect can't be brought into every subject. However, I do also agree with Emma, that having fun creatively may not suit all learners, so how would you make it fun and beneficial for them?

Thanks Aimee,

It is difficult to make it fun and beneficial for everyone. I think you always get the one who says "what's the point?! I don't want to do this,it's stupid!", which is why it's important to try and make it fun but relevant and that students can relate to it. It goes back to how do you make all lessons inclusive?! Still working on that one...!
Emma I am in total agreement that drama should be in the primary school curriculum. As a child your use of imagination is paramount to play time, yet during current school curriculums this is then not utilised- actually dulled down and impaired. Creativity is difficult for some students, but only because they have not had a chance to access this side of education. Creatives become academics when completing compulsory subjects that are academically driven-imagine how much learners could benefit from the encouragement of both skills not only as a learning tool, but to become well rounded individuals!

Ellie how inspiring, and a great point made. I agree that Drama could play a key role in developing the young learners not only on a eduacational level but a social level too. This can also have the potential to encourage some more intrevert learners to participate in group discussions, thus creating a more positive learning environment as a result. The only problem I could see is what area or subject would have to be cut to make room for Drama for the schools that don't have it?

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