Any commentator on Ken Robinson is obliged to repeat at the outset all the accolades already heaped on him; mostly, that he is a ‘genius,’ a ‘transformational educator,’ a man of such great insight that it is a pity educational reformers don’t listen to him as much as they should. And without question he is funny.
With the preliminaries out of the way, a critique can begin: as I’ve written here, Ken Robinson’s ideas are at best lovely and whimsical interpretations of the realities of teaching and learning, and probably, a remarkably unhelpful oversimplification of the facts.
This clip, his most famous, demonstrates the product in all its glory. Listen to some of his pronouncements with a critical ear and you’ll find much to shake your head at. (Schools kill creativity, schools are only interested in educating the mind, dancing is equivalent to algebra, and so on…)
Ken Robinson is, not surprisingly, available for hire. His website lists his speaking agents, both in the US and in Europe. Not that he has a vested interest in cultivating an audience, come what may, even if his ideas strain credibility. That would be crass.