…we must think anew… (and make the space for others to do their own thinking!)

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Superb talk by Ken Robinson on TED – lots in it, but this quote towards the start stuck me as particularly relevant to todays ‘climate.’

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.  The occasion is piled high with difficulty.  And we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew.  And act anew.

We must disenthrall ourselves and then we will save our country.

Abraham Lincoln, Dec 1862

I love the way he framed the quote, saying that he knew nothing about the context, as ‘we don’t teach american history in the UK, we suppress it!’  Great use of humour, and also, of getting the audience to take responsibility for their own learning.  I don’t, for one minute believe him that he knew nothing of the (very important) context – but his provocative ‘not knowing’ and not seeming to care, yet at the same time flagging up that there must have been something about the context, immediately took me to research it.

Major lesson here for all of us who have an educational element to our work – DON’T DO ALL THE WORK FOR THE CLIENT!

As someone once said, give someone a fish, feed him for a day, teach him how to fish, she can feed herself and her family for a lifetime.  Teach someone how to teach others how to fish, and you can feed a whole village for a lifetime.

So, it’s not about being clever, or about being impressive, or about your clients/students needing you, nor about you working to cover every base.  On the contrary, you might be surprised what happens if you leave some gaps, and provoke others to do their own work.

How might you provoke others to learn today, and how might you make space for this?

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