Education and linearity

In a recent appearance at TED, Sir Ken Robinson – the British author who shocked us a few years ago saying that schools kill creativity – hits the nail on the head again. On his deep analysis of the actual education system, he is telling us that life is not linear. So why education should be? He claims that this is something that we accept without further questions because we are used to it. But we have to make a change. Not an evolutionary change but a revolutionary one.

He explains that we have an education system that works as a factory (I imagine input and output, a mounting chain, clear goals, objectives and careers) and that we have to shift this (back?) to an agricultural model: creating good conditions so people can flourish. Actually, this reminds me about Thomas Bley – a brilliant design educator – quoting Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

I absolutely agree with him and I am thinking that perhaps the linear way of thinking we have now is related – among other causes – to the ‘Gutemberg’s parenthesis’: we used to have a more organic understanding of the world that was forgotten (mainly by the invention of the book). Maybe we will slowly come back to it.