Sir Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms

Anthony Devine

RSA Animate created this fantastic visualization of a talk on changing education paradigms by Sir Ken Robinson:

I loved this talk (and visualization) so much that I went to the RSA website and purchased a digital PDF of the final visual. It cost me One British Pound, and I had it printed out on a poster printer we have at my school–I still need to find a frame for it.

Sir Ken Robinson, deliverer of one of the most popular TED Talks: Do Schools Kill Creativity?, delivers a talk here about how our education system was built on a model of industrialization, which has led to a host of problems as we move beyond that model. The video delivers visuals to accompany Robinson’s ideas, leaving the viewer with a greater understanding of the context of the development of education as well as the flaws with the current system.


Robinson, K. (2010, October 14). RSA ANIMATE: Changing education paradigms [YouTube video]. The RSA [YouTube channel]. Retrieved from

Dismal Test Scores

By Terry Funk

Magee, M. (2015) Nation’s Report Card. San Diego Union Tribune, 4/30/15, p. 1

A new movement to promote civic education in schools is underway in response to the low percentage of eighth graders scoring proficient or better in three NAEP categories: U.S. History (18%), Civics (23%) and Geography (27%). Numbers were explained in more detail based on race. San Diego County is one of six in California that are piloting a program called Power of Democracy. Moving forward the San Diego Unified School District will integrate six education practices for civics education beginning in Kindergarten, infuse civics into English lessons and encourage schools to compete for a civic learning award. The article also discussed professional development for teachers who may not be prepared to teach History.

Evaluation: It’s true that History/Social Studies is often competing for a place in the curriculum – with more emphasis on basic literacy and STEM education in the recent past. However, in a rapidly changing world with legal/societal issues all around it is important that students have an understanding of governance and community engagement. The types of questions on this test were multiple choice which may be part of the problem, because they ask for details of general subject knowledge rather than have students provide more thoughtful responses to issues they have studied. Again this effort is a top down response with more testing in the future to evaluate the impact of the pilot. Engaging students in these topics may require more than raising scores on standardized tests.