I think everyone should watch this presentation, all the way to the poetic ending. It’s beautifully crafted, and craftily beautiful.
“It’s very hard to know, by the way, what it is you take for granted. And the reason is that you take it for granted.”
According to Robinson, what we take for granted in education is linearity and conformity. Linearity in terms of the determinism of reaching, one-step-at-a-time, a pinnacle of academic achievement. People need time to play with and discover their talents, and not everyone should go to university (or not right away). Conformity in education is compared to the fast-food industry, which seeks to standardise every aspect of delivery, and where the only difference between institutions (and MBAs?) is the badging. Education is not industrial, he says, it is organic.
Here is WB Yeats’ poem, which Robinson quotes:
Cloths of Heaven
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.