Question Time: Sir Ken Robinson, Richard Gerver

These are a few of the comments made by Richard Gerver (RG) and Sir Ken Robinson (SKR) during the Q&A session chaired by Dan Haesier (DH) following the opening keynotes. These are not word for word quotes but are my approximate, paraphrased summary. 

RG We have polarised the education debate: we are either for standards or for developing human beings, etc. What it says is that we don’t trust children enough. We have to trust our children more.

SKR We are raised in the West to believe that thinking is making distinctions not making connections, creating links or recognising patterns. There is a thought that if children are investigating, working collaboratively, etc. then they are not learning. Knowledge is a fabric we all weave together. Learning is not a monologue, it is a conversation.

RG Too often conversations become systemic and structural. We need more open conversations. World seems to be obsessed with what we teach. What we need to be concerned with how people learn. Apple will never employ anyone who needs managing. How could we use technology to create a more independent generation?

DH Is technology actually making a difference or is it just replacing what we’ve always done? What is the next level in terms of using technology to engender learning in our communities?

SKR Technology gives us the possibility to personalise education more. As soon as we forget that education is about learning and pupils we forget everything. Children learn anyway. When toddlers learn to speak, it is not taught. Personalising learning (timetables, structure, systems) is enabled by technology. Alt School is an example of children on 1:1 timetables.

SKR Potential implications of MOOCs is huge. One of the keystones that keeps the current system of education in place is the lure of university. The idea that a degree will secure a successful life is an outdated one.

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