WATCH: Sir Ken Robinson - 'His voice will be missed'

Tributes have been paid to influential educationalist, speaker and author Sir Ken Robinson, who has died
23rd August 2020, 12:09pm

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WATCH: Sir Ken Robinson - 'His voice will be missed'

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/watch-sir-ken-robinson-his-voice-will-be-missed
Tributes Have Been Paid To Author & Educationalist Sir Ken Robinson, Who Has Died

The story of how choreographer for the musical Cats, Gillian Lynne, found her talent for dancing is an anecdote some teachers know quite well.

The video in which Sir Ken Robinson tells the story of a fidgety student who was "not sick, just a dancer" has done the rounds in teacher training courses and social media feeds alike: since 2006, the Ted Talk Do schools kill creativity? has gathered at least 66 million views.

A teacher, author and government adviser, Sir Ken wrote extensively on the need for a radical reform to the national approach to education, championing an environment that cultivates creativity and divergent thinking rather than academic knowledge and exam success.


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His views on creativity and education were "caricatured by a few", the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders said in a tweet - but his core message that "education in the 21st century must move beyond what is simplistically measurable" was understood by most teachers, parents and employers, Geoff Barton added. "His voice will be missed," he wrote.

 

Sir Ken died on 21 August after a short battle with cancer, according to a family statement.

Originally from Liverpool, where he was born in 1950, Sir Ken was lately dividing his time between Los Angeles and London.

After studying English and drama at university, he went on to complete a PhD at the University of London with research on the function of drama teaching in secondary education.

The legacy of Sir Ken Robinson

He was professor of arts education at the University of Warwick for 12 years, and in 1999 he led a national commission on creativity, education and the economy for the UK government, leading to the publication of All our futures: creativity, culture and education - known as the Robinson Report.

He also worked in Northern Ireland with the government to develop a strategy for creative and economic development as part of the Peace Process and he advised the Singapore government on its strategy to become the creative hub in South-East Asia.

In 2003, he was knighted for services to the arts.

Sir Ken was also a best-selling author: one of his books, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, was translated into 23 languages and has sold over a million copies worldwide.

At the core of his work on pedagogy was the idea that "outdated" methodologies and practices in schools hinder the development of creativity and hinder learning, and that collaboration is the best learning opportunity for both students and staff.

He also argued that all subjects should be viewed as equally important - with no distinction between academic and non-academic subjects.

Messages of condolence and tributes to Sir Ken's legacy have been posted on social media by educationalists from across the world.

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