Justice in the Classroom

Posted by Rhys on Oct 19, 2015

Sir Ken Robinson talks about how the education system does not meet the requirements of today’s educational needs. He says that the education system is hung up on trying to adjust for the current economic needs. Which is hopeless as the economic situations change week by week. He also claimed that the education system was outdated as it originates from “the intellectual culture of the enlightenment” and the economics behind it in “the industrial revolution”. This idea of outdated education links on to another point that was raised on the outdated form of the education system. The fact that we still organise education based on age rather than ability, because some students who are younger may have the same capability of students a couple of years above them, or vice versa. In my opinion I don’t think Kens’ views on educational grouping is accurate, because it may make students feel worse if they are working with students younger than them.

Ken claims that many students leave school thinking that they are unintelligent as a result of failing tests that are seen to determine whether you are smart or not. However, some students may not be academically inclined and therefore do not succeed as well as others in the academic field. These students on the other hand may be gifted in other areas of life such as less academically inclined skills/crafts.

In my opinion I would support Kens ideas on ADHD; in that it is a result of lessons not becoming interesting enough for students. This is due to a rise in the digital age and students finding things outside the classroom far more appealing to them. Therefore, leading to less attentiveness in lessons which in turn leads on to distractive behaviour and failure to concentrate. Students who are affected by these distractions are then categorized as ADHD. I believe that they are not necessarily such a problem that they require medication to help them. My view is that lessons need to be more exciting to enlighten students to the benefits and fun side of education to get them to listen and join in the sessions.

He goes on to talk about, how teachers today try and get students to do more individual work. Where in fact it is proven that when people work in groups the work being completed is much more efficient and of a higher calibre. This is due to collaboration between students who will help one another through tasks and problems collectively rather than struggling through on their own. I believe that group work is very important to the progression of students learning as it means they can all help each other with the work which means the teacher can spend more time one on one with certain students who need a little extra help. So I support kens views on group work and that teachers need to judge students as a group rather than individually, because if we separate them from the rest of the class we are then removing them from their “natural learning environment”.

Overall I think Ken raised some important problems with the current educational system. However, there are flaws with some of his views which need to be addressed but all in all he raised more productive points for the education system than negative.


  1. pepsmccrea
    26 October 2015

    Solid first thinkpiece. You have clearly engaged with Ken’s ideas, and reflected on whether you agree/disagree and why. Good to see you taking a balanced approach here – looking at both sides of the story.

    In future thinkpieces, make sure you engage with both the article as well as the video…

  2. asreall
    29 December 2015

    I agree strongly with what was said about students leaving school feeling that they are unintelligent because they didn’t succeed at exams. I think that at school we need to focus on a broader range of skills rather than the focus being purely on academia. One thing I would disagree with is that i don’t feel that students would feel bad working with young pupils of a similar ability. I don’t t believe that following the approaches of certain European countries e.g France in holding pupils back is the method to us, rather keep pupils in their year groups but move them for individual classes in which they excel.

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