My Inconvenient Truth (part 3)

A few weeks ago I blogged about the inconvenient truth (part 1) that "‘the ability to interact, the courage not to judge and the naivety to commit before knowing how" is a fundamental management skill in order to evolve and innovate. I did not really find a management guru to match that thought but luckily I found an educationalist who thinks along these lines about intelligence.

The way we think about intelligence needs a radical shift as Sir Ken Robinson argues in this 20 min speech at TED 2006, but we are stuck in a process of academic inflation. As children grow up we start to educate them progressively from the waist up. And then we focus on their heads, and slightly to one side. The result is that many highly talented and brilliant creative people think they are not, because what they were good at school was not being valued.

Our education system is based on the idea of academic ability because all educational systems came into being to meet the needs of industrialism. However, industrialism no longer rules in a networked economy, so the academic paradigm is slowly grinding to a stagnating halt.

So here’s the inconvenient truth: Children starting school this year will be retiring in 2065. Nobody has a clue what the world will look like in 5 years time and yet we are meant to be educating them for it. The best shot we have is to broaden our view and widen our appreciation about intelligence.

First of all, intelligence is diverse because we think about the world in all the ways we can experience it: visually, auditory, kinesthetically, we think in abstract terms and in movement. Second, intelligence is dynamic and interactive because more often than not, it comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things. Third, intelligence is distinct. As Robinson concludes: we have to see our creative capacities for the richness they are and seeing our children for the hope that they are. So our task is to educate their whole being.