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Dogmas of the quiet past

I spent the day in Omaha with the ESU Professional Development Affiliates and Sir Ken Robinson. I’d like to assume that everyone involved with Education is already aware of him and his work, but it is probably not the case. Simply put – he is a genius. His work focuses specifically on the topic of creativity and is required reading (or watching) for all teachers. However, in a bigger picture sense he really mirrors the message we are hearing from people like Dr. Scott McLeod, which is to say “HEADS UP PEOPLE!” Due to advances in technology the world has fundamentally changed. We are living in revolutionary times. Our Educational system as we’ve known it for the past 130 years is inadequate to meet the demands of the emerging new world economy, and we’re sitting comfortably on the deck of the Titanic drinking lemonade like it can’t really effect us. We have to begin implementing the difficult systemic changes that promote personalized learning, divergent thinking, and empower students with possibilities instead of measuring them so we can more easily see where their failings are.

Today Sir Ken shared a quote he read recently that has resonated with me all day long.

“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 shall save our country.”

-Abraham Lincoln, in his 2nd address to Congress

President Lincoln said it during times that were certainly more dire than we are facing today, but the words ring true for our situation. As a society we must “disenthrall ourselves” with the status quo in education, or fail a generation of Americans, and ultimately ourselves.

Posted in My Thoughts, Quotes.


2 Responses

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  1. Jason says

    There was another powerful quote/poem at the very end that resonated with me. Summed up the whole vision piece in that we need to “spread our dreams beneath their feet.” Without dreams/vision, we have nothing…

    Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
    Enwrought with golden and silver light,
    The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
    Of night and light and the half-light,
    I would spread the cloths under your feet:
    But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
    I have spread my dreams under your feet;
    Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
    ~ W.B. Yeats

  2. cpultz says

    I agree – it is a very fitting poem for our plight.

    I can’t help but think it sounds better when read with a British accent though. 😉



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