Alarm clock. A student opens his eyes. He thinks: ‘I have to go there again’, ‘I don’t need so many Maths lessons’, ‘Our Polish teacher is a bore’.

Alarm clock. A teacher opens his eyes. He thinks: ‘It’s not the way it should look’, ‘I earn pittance”, ‘I have to handle it’.

Alarm clock. You open your eyes. What do you think?

The institution of school is ok – it is a system that’s rusty. In order to change it, believe that you are the system. Every student, teacher, principal, counsellor. Still educational systems are being created for the purposes of the industrialism and schools on its model – model of factories. We forget that school isn’t a production facility. In the chaos of constant changes we are losing the ability for asking fundamental questions, e.g. ‘Why do we need education?’ or ‘What kind of man should a graduate be?’. Children blindly wade through schools, numbed and dormant, one by one. This is a simple way right to the sad life deprived of creativity and self-confidence. What about wakey, wakey?


Ken Robinson – who’s that guy?


A creative educator, an author of revolutionary pedagogic processes, a charismatic speaker and leader in the human resources development – Ken Robinson thinks that today above all we must again answer oneself a question: why does education exist? People have very different views to this subject, and goals for which public education systems arose, do not fit our time. Until we reach an agreement about that why we generally educate young people, it will be hard for us to talk about methods or processes. That’s why he starts his book with (click for the review) a determination of four the most important educational goals in his view.


Economic purpose



Economic purposes have always been carried out by the public education, which systems arose among others in order to educate the workforce providing the prosperity for the country. A help that public education offers to young people is the second aspect of economic purposes so they can afford oneself independent financially in the future. How does it look like at present? Financial independence of young people seems to be as so-called pipe dream in many countries only because realization of this economic objective in present-day public educational systems  is disappointing. Lack of employability, employing beneath qualifications – the lack of places in the labor market is not always a cause of it.

 An examination conducted some time ago by the IBM company (1800 leaders from 80 countries took part in it) opens the eyes. Respondents had to set for for features which are the most needed in their companies. An ability to adapt to changes and a creativity, so a skill to generate new ideas and solutions in case of potential problems have been the most indicated answers. It’s your turn. Answer truthfully following question: ‘Did school give you everything what employers seek for in the international labour market?’.

 In Poland mainly small and medium-sized enterprises build the economy. Abilities which bosses expect from secondary and higher schools graduates are often too excessive requirements, and the fault is being knocked off to closed and stiff educational system. Is it right? Absolutely. An organization of school academies or calls, co-creating or co-editing the school newspaper, volunteering is a peak of contribution for students. In turn the possibility of long-term projects realization which require building the concept, determining individual stages of work, planning, realization and accounting, time management or goal setting which is appropriate evidence for the ability to cooperate in the team for potential employer – it is already one of Andersen’s fairy tales. Beautiful but fictional.


Cultural purpose


Second from four Robinson’s purposes of the education is a cultural purpose. The cultural diversity in our society is obvious and is evolving, moreover we observe day by day what kind of conflicts can divide individual communities in terms of viewpoint. Preparing young people how to cope with progressive diversity is a role of education. Does present educational system in your country help to understand this issue


Social purpose


It is a next purpose which in his grassroots revolution Ken Robinson emphasizes. Remind yourself your social studies lesson. Did they teach you specific civic pride or perhaps it consisted in reciting particular articles of the Polish constitution which in a few days you no longer remembered? The social purpose contains of the activity and joint responsibility for one’s community – at school, at work, in family etc. School must become a space where such conducts are being practised, not exclusively mentioned, if any.


Personal purpose


Last of purposes which Ken Robinson mentions is a personal one. This one inspired and motivated the speaker to his speech at TED conference. Robinson is deeply convinced that ‘every man is born with huge layers of natural talents and that most of us lose contact with them while growing up, and one of the main causes is education’. As he put it in his speech:


The whole point of education is a relation between student and teacher. If it doesn’t work, neither does the system. If students don’t learn, the education is cancelled. Perhaps something else is being held but it isn’t education.


A change in education will be possible only when relation student-teacher will turn into the best possible and the most productive. Bowing down to the aspect of young people’s learning methods and best teachers’ working methods can help with that. If you have ever met a teacher who was a real change and inspired you to do something, this is the moment – share your experience. Perhaps your history will have an impact on the shape of contemporary educational system.




Awareness of the fact that children are natural students is the most important. A receptive mind, being hungry to get all the knowledge and abilities, searching – this beautiful luggage of features is being thrown into the corner by the institutionalized education which frequently fails to meet the creativity. Today students don’t associate school with the space where they can feel free, safe, follow their passions. Today school is a normal, grey building intended to impute the knowledge which, in our opinion, is needed for young people. Think how beautiful the world would be, if only to provide them a development in areas which they feel, where they can fulfill, which motivate to changes, inspire, activate.

Our brain is a tremendous tool which is being developed most quickly in these areas, in which we use it with joy and enthusiasm. It has the reflection in biology. Our body entirely different responds to challenges which are imposed upon us, evoking anxiety and fear. On the contrary we have a situation when we choose our challenges by ourselves, then our body is mobilizing, and we can feel satisfaction. It is similar in education – the teacher should build up and sustain natural desire for the knowledge acquisition by the student, not opposite.


Teaching – use your potential


Why do we fully agree with Ken Robinson? Because teaching is really an art form. The acquaintance of the specific subject won’t make an impression on students because this is exactly what is expected from them – acquaintance of the subject. The point is in the method of eliciting an interest and if so, how the teacher will involve them in the active participation during classes, whether will fuel the enthusiasm and will instil a passion. Charisma, authenticity, being a system and a change, not only its cog, is a key to a great relation with young people and real influence on the educational content. 

Probably you will think, that ok, in theory this all sounds convincingly, but how to manage that in a class where 30 people are learning? You will find the answer to that question exactly in the revolutionary Robinson’s book ‘Creative schools’ – it is full of the examples of  teachers who often having little sources at one’s disposal both working in poor communities, caused great things and achieved unusual results in education.

According to Robinson, in order to improve education, we must above all concentrate on learning and teaching processes and how to create the conditions for developing the relation between student and teacher. How to do this? For that purpose we need the new metaphor for education. It is an ecological education based on the agricultural model, consisting of four pillars, i.e. health, ecology, justice and carefulness. It is all about the change of a way of thinking both about learning and teaching. If the relation teacher-student will be doing well, either does the system. Soon we will write more about the ecological education.

To sum up: according to Robinson creativity is an ‘ability to generate new ideas and to apply them in practice’. It is indisputable essence of man and cultural progress, therefore it is so important that schools will not suppress it in students but cherish and improve  creative thinking and action. Our life is a sum of acquired experience, developed perspectives, choices we made and passions which we discover and follow, so developing the creativity in young people is mandatory for achieving all four purposes of education. Jeffrey Wright, physics teacher from Louisville, Kentucky, is a perfect example. At his work he exploits various technologies, among other things he builds hovercraft with students,  blows up pumpkins or goes off objects from long pipes not only in order to implement the element of entertainment during classes, but above all in order to arouse the curiosity of discussed issues, to intrigue. He seeks for solutions on the individual level to build an interest for physics in students, so they can get it.


That’s why creativity is a tremendous tool which brings together students, teachers and community involved with the school. Thanks to it the chain of good experiences, impressions and dreams is strong and effective. A creative teacher is a creative student. It works both ways. Remember – it’s good to be a system.