The format of this blog is different from usual – variety is the spice of life and all that, so ‘spice up your life’ as ‘those’girls say!  It’s still intended to be thought-provoking though, and if it’s to be of real use to you, first you need to watch the video clip of Sir Ken Robinson talking about how schools kill creativity.  If you don’t know who he is, watch the clip, it all becomes clear.  I’ve ‘favourited’  it on my youtube channel – it lasts for 20 mins and is SO worth the time invested.

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLisAllenTUBE?feature=mhum

I’ve watched it over and over again for several reasons, and it got me thinking about what I’d say if I wrote to him – this is what I came up with.

Dear Sir Ken,

Firstly, you make me laugh and I LOVE people who make me laugh, so now you know!   I watch your videos from time to time because you educate me AND make me laugh – wouldn’t it be great if our schooling system were able to do that for the next generation. People learn best when they’re having fun, don’t they?

Secondly, you give me hope – hope for the future of our children. (Personally I have four, so I’m acutely interested in how I can undo the mess my generation has created for our young people).  It’s so refreshing to hear an academic speak with such insightfulness  about the way forward for our youth.  You fill me with hope, that someone as influential as you is getting out there and challenging peoples’ thinking in such an amusing and moving way.  Thank you – I hope to do the same soon.

Thirdly, you inspire me.  You talk such ‘common’ sense which I now realise (having reached the age of 50 something) is not so common.  I suppose I’m excited watching your video because I so agree with you and you support my view! I’ve arrived at the same conclusion, not through academic study but through my observations as a mother over the years.  So many mothers pay lip service to that well-known chestnut…..’All I want is for my children to be happy’.  Hmmm.

I had a conversation only last week with a mother who admitted she was cross when her son quit uni after 2 years.  She felt he should have continued, in spite of the fact that his heart wasn’t in it and the course challenged his integrity.  She was still buying into that out-dated view that the only way to get on in life is to have a degree.  She obviously didn’t know that, in certain subjects, by the time an undergraduate gets to the third year of study, the first year’s study is already out of date.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I and those close to me make the best contribution to society when they feel happy and fulfilled. That doesn’t mean you have to have an academic background, does it?

I came across a great quote recently about Education, which sort of fits into what you’re saying:  ‘Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learnt in school.’ Albert Einstein

Can’t help thinking that the University of Life has given me some far more useful lessons than my formal University degree.

So, Keep up the good work 🙂

All the best

Lis

PS.  Let me know when you’re next speaking in London – I’d love to come so you can educate me and make me laugh ( I’m your number one fan!)