Articles, Blog

Bring on the learning revolution! | Ken Robinson

September 6, 2019

I was here four years ago, and I remember, at the time, that the talks weren’t put online. I think they were given
to TEDsters in a box, a box set of DVDs, which they put on their shelves,
where they are now. (Laughter) And actually, Chris called me
a week after I’d given my talk, and said, “We’re going to start putting them online.
Can we put yours online?” And I said, “Sure.” And four years later, it’s been downloaded four million times. So I suppose you could multiply that
by 20 or something to get the number
of people who’ve seen it. And, as Chris says, there is
a hunger for videos of me. (Laughter) (Applause) Don’t you feel? (Laughter) So, this whole event
has been an elaborate build-up to me doing another one
for you, so here it is. (Laughter) Al Gore spoke at the TED conference
I spoke at four years ago and talked about the climate crisis. And I referenced that
at the end of my last talk. So I want to pick up from there because I only had 18 minutes, frankly. (Laughter) So, as I was saying — (Laughter) You see, he’s right. I mean, there is a major
climate crisis, obviously, and I think if people don’t believe it,
they should get out more. (Laughter) But I believe there is
a second climate crisis, which is as severe, which has the same origins, and that we have to deal with
with the same urgency. And you may say, by the way, “Look, I’m good. I have one climate crisis,
I don’t really need the second one.” (Laughter) But this is a crisis of,
not natural resources — though I believe that’s true — but a crisis of human resources. I believe fundamentally, as many speakers have said
during the past few days, that we make very poor use of our talents. Very many people go
through their whole lives having no real sense
of what their talents may be, or if they have any to speak of. I meet all kinds of people who don’t think
they’re really good at anything. Actually, I kind of divide the world
into two groups now. Jeremy Bentham, the great
utilitarian philosopher, once spiked this argument. He said, “There are two types
of people in this world: those who divide the world into two types and those who do not.” (Laughter) Well, I do. (Laughter) I meet all kinds of people
who don’t enjoy what they do. They simply go through their lives
getting on with it. They get no great pleasure
from what they do. They endure it rather than enjoy it, and wait for the weekend. But I also meet people who love what they do
and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. If you said, “Don’t do this anymore,” they’d wonder what you’re talking about. It isn’t what they do, it’s who they are. They say, “But this is me, you know. It would be foolish to abandon this, because it speaks
to my most authentic self.” And it’s not true of enough people. In fact, on the contrary, I think
it’s still true of a minority of people. And I think there are many
possible explanations for it. And high among them is education, because education, in a way, dislocates very many people
from their natural talents. And human resources
are like natural resources; they’re often buried deep. You have to go looking for them, they’re not just lying around
on the surface. You have to create the circumstances
where they show themselves. And you might imagine
education would be the way that happens, but too often, it’s not. Every education system in the world
is being reformed at the moment and it’s not enough. Reform is no use anymore, because that’s simply improving
a broken model. What we need — and the word’s been used
many times in the past few days — is not evolution, but a revolution in education. This has to be transformed
into something else. (Applause) One of the real challenges
is to innovate fundamentally in education. Innovation is hard, because it means doing something
that people don’t find very easy, for the most part. It means challenging
what we take for granted, things that we think are obvious. The great problem for reform
or transformation is the tyranny of common sense. Things that people think, “It can’t be done differently,
that’s how it’s done.” I came across a great quote recently
from Abraham Lincoln, who I thought you’d be pleased
to have quoted at this point. (Laughter) He said this in December 1862
to the second annual meeting of Congress. I ought to explain that I have no idea
what was happening at the time. We don’t teach
American history in Britain. (Laughter) We suppress it.
You know, this is our policy. (Laughter) No doubt, something fascinating
was happening then, which the Americans among us
will be aware of. But he said this: “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.” I love that. Not rise to it, rise with it. “As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.” I love that word, “disenthrall.” You know what it means? That there are ideas
that all of us are enthralled to, which we simply take for granted
as the natural order of things, the way things are. And many of our ideas have been formed, not to meet the circumstances
of this century, but to cope with the circumstances
of previous centuries. But our minds
are still hypnotized by them, and we have to disenthrall ourselves
of some of them. Now, doing this is easier said than done. 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. (Laughter) Let me ask you something
you may take for granted. How many of you here
are over the age of 25? That’s not what you take for granted,
I’m sure you’re familiar with that. Are there any people here
under the age of 25? Great. Now, those over 25, could you put your hands up
if you’re wearing your wristwatch? Now that’s a great deal of us, isn’t it? Ask a room full of teenagers
the same thing. Teenagers do not wear wristwatches. I don’t mean they can’t, they just often choose not to. And the reason is we were brought up
in a pre-digital culture, those of us over 25. And so for us,
if you want to know the time, you have to wear something to tell it. Kids now live in a world
which is digitized, and the time, for them, is everywhere. They see no reason to do this. And by the way, you don’t need either; it’s just that you’ve always done it
and you carry on doing it. My daughter never wears a watch,
my daughter Kate, who’s 20. She doesn’t see the point. As she says, “It’s a single-function device.” (Laughter) “Like, how lame is that?” And I say, “No, no,
it tells the date as well.” (Laughter) “It has multiple functions.” (Laughter) But, you see, there are things
we’re enthralled to in education. A couple of examples. One of them is the idea of linearity: that it starts here
and you go through a track and if you do everything right, you will end up set
for the rest of your life. Everybody who’s spoken at TED
has told us implicitly, or sometimes explicitly,
a different story: that life is not linear; it’s organic. We create our lives symbiotically as we explore our talents in relation to the circumstances
they help to create for us. But, you know, we have become obsessed
with this linear narrative. And probably the pinnacle for education
is getting you to college. I think we are obsessed
with getting people to college. Certain sorts of college. I don’t mean you shouldn’t go,
but not everybody needs to go, or go now. Maybe they go later, not right away. And I was up in San Francisco
a while ago doing a book signing. There was this guy buying a book,
he was in his 30s. I said, “What do you do?” And he said, “I’m a fireman.” I asked, “How long
have you been a fireman?” “Always. I’ve always been a fireman.” “Well, when did you decide?”
He said, “As a kid. Actually, it was
a problem for me at school, because at school,
everybody wanted to be a fireman.” (Laughter) He said, “But I wanted to be a fireman.” And he said, “When I got
to the senior year of school, my teachers didn’t take it seriously. This one teacher didn’t take it seriously. He said I was throwing my life away if that’s all I chose to do with it; that I should go to college, I should
become a professional person, that I had great potential and I was wasting my talent to do that.” He said, “It was humiliating. It was in front of the whole class
and I felt dreadful. But it’s what I wanted,
and as soon as I left school, I applied to the fire service
and I was accepted. You know, I was thinking
about that guy recently, just a few minutes ago when you
were speaking, about this teacher, because six months ago, I saved his life.” (Laughter) He said, “He was in a car wreck,
and I pulled him out, gave him CPR, and I saved his wife’s life as well.” He said, “I think he thinks
better of me now.” (Laughter) (Applause) You know, to me, human communities depend
upon a diversity of talent, not a singular conception of ability. And at the heart of our challenges — (Applause) At the heart of the challenge is to reconstitute our sense of ability
and of intelligence. This linearity thing is a problem. When I arrived in L.A.
about nine years ago, I came across a policy statement — very well-intentioned — which said, “College
begins in kindergarten.” No, it doesn’t. (Laughter) It doesn’t. If we had time,
I could go into this, but we don’t. (Laughter) Kindergarten begins in kindergarten. (Laughter) A friend of mine once said, “A three year-old
is not half a six year-old.” (Laughter) (Applause) They’re three. But as we just heard in this last session, there’s such competition now
to get into kindergarten — to get to the right kindergarten — that people are being interviewed
for it at three. Kids sitting in front
of unimpressed panels, you know, with their resumes — (Laughter) Flicking through and saying,
“What, this is it?” (Laughter) (Applause) “You’ve been around
for 36 months, and this is it?” (Laughter) “You’ve achieved nothing — commit. (Laughter) Spent the first six months
breastfeeding, I can see.” (Laughter) See, it’s outrageous as a conception. The other big issue is conformity. We have built our education systems
on the model of fast food. This is something Jamie Oliver
talked about the other day. There are two models
of quality assurance in catering. One is fast food,
where everything is standardized. The other is like Zagat
and Michelin restaurants, where everything is not standardized, they’re customized to local circumstances. And we have sold ourselves
into a fast-food model of education, and it’s impoverishing
our spirit and our energies as much as fast food is depleting
our physical bodies. (Applause) We have to recognize
a couple of things here. One is that human talent
is tremendously diverse. People have very different aptitudes. I worked out recently
that I was given a guitar as a kid at about the same time
that Eric Clapton got his first guitar. (Laughter) It worked out for Eric,
that’s all I’m saying. (Laughter) In a way — it did not for me. I could not get this thing to work no matter how often
or how hard I blew into it. It just wouldn’t work. (Laughter) But it’s not only about that. It’s about passion. Often, people are good at things
they don’t really care for. It’s about passion, and what excites
our spirit and our energy. And if you’re doing the thing
that you love to do, that you’re good at, time takes a different course entirely. My wife’s just finished writing a novel, and I think it’s a great book, but she disappears for hours on end. You know this, if you’re doing
something you love, an hour feels like five minutes. If you’re doing something
that doesn’t resonate with your spirit, five minutes feels like an hour. And the reason so many people
are opting out of education is because it doesn’t feed their spirit, it doesn’t feed their energy
or their passion. So I think we have to change metaphors. We have to go from what is essentially
an industrial model of education, a manufacturing model, which is based on linearity
and conformity and batching people. We have to move to a model that is based more
on principles of agriculture. We have to recognize that human flourishing
is not a mechanical process; it’s an organic process. And you cannot predict
the outcome of human development. All you can do, like a farmer,
is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish. So when we look at reforming
education and transforming it, it isn’t like cloning a system. There are great ones,
like KIPP’s; it’s a great system. There are many great models. It’s about customizing
to your circumstances and personalizing education
to the people you’re actually teaching. And doing that, I think,
is the answer to the future because it’s not
about scaling a new solution; it’s about creating
a movement in education in which people develop
their own solutions, but with external support
based on a personalized curriculum. Now in this room, there are people who represent
extraordinary resources in business, in multimedia, in the Internet. These technologies, combined with the extraordinary
talents of teachers, provide an opportunity
to revolutionize education. And I urge you to get involved in it because it’s vital, not just to ourselves,
but to the future of our children. But we have to change
from the industrial model to an agricultural model, where each school can be
flourishing tomorrow. That’s where children experience life. Or at home, if that’s what they choose, to be educated
with their families or friends. There’s been a lot of talk about dreams
over the course of these few days. And I wanted to just very quickly — I was very struck
by Natalie Merchant’s songs last night, recovering old poems. I wanted to read you
a quick, very short poem from W. B. Yeats,
who some of you may know. He wrote this to his love, Maud Gonne, and he was bewailing the fact that he couldn’t really give her
what he thought she wanted from him. And he says, “I’ve got something else,
but it may not be for you.” He says this: “Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths, Enwrought with gold 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.” And every day, everywhere, our children spread
their dreams beneath our feet. And we should tread softly. Thank you. (Applause) Thank you very much. (Applause) Thank you. (Applause)


  • Reply Koussay Haj Kacem September 16, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    There's a delay in the subtitles!

  • Reply yoursdhruly September 16, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Brilliant, give this man a podcast or something!

  • Reply Cory Fisher September 16, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Another aspect that needs to change as well too, at least here in The US, is that companies never seem interested in free thinkers who utilize individual talents. Companies only seem to want obedient servants who only do what they are told and don't question the status quo. Do what you're told, shut up, or go find another job. The environment that has been cultivated doesn't foster individuals to embrace their talents. We need to get back to that.

  • Reply MrHayada September 16, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Such a great sequel.

  • Reply NOT-A-ROLE-MODEL September 16, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    I could literally listen to this man talk about most anything. Wish I had the capability to so easily purvey a message while also being engaging.

  • Reply Nando N September 17, 2015 at 1:00 am

    Hilarious talk

  • Reply 콩자반 September 17, 2015 at 2:06 am

    Korean subtitle is about 4 seconds later than video.

  • Reply Depressingly Funny September 17, 2015 at 3:14 am

    for this guy I think TED should make an exception to the time limit : [

  • Reply Vishu Mahajan September 17, 2015 at 4:04 am

    He should do stand-up comedy full time. Will be a huge hit.

  • Reply mixolydian2010 September 17, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Wonderful talk. His warmth and humour always put in me in a kind of altered state of possibilities and his Yeats quote from The Cloths of Heaven at the end really moved me. I love children and it is the world of possibilities that they show us, if we are not to anxious for them to be what we want them to be when they grow up. I think we could all resonate with negative experiences from our childhoods, where we were told not to think or act in certain ways that damaged our spirits and imaginations and ultimately what we could be when we grow up and could still be if we are encouraged by such wonderful speakers as Ken. All the best to him and TED for all the different points of view that it brings to us. C

  • Reply Fierfek1972 September 17, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Could that intro sound be any bloody louder? I'm not quite sure my ears are bleeding enough! I love listening to Sir Ken, once the ringing has stopped. Please TED, please, turn the intro down, or the lectures up!

  • Reply ALEPPOCETADEL September 17, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    thumb up for you sir…

  • Reply MALMAL MAL September 17, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    I wonder when will TED arrive in the era of 1080p ?

  • Reply Myrslokstok September 17, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    If they whant to enslave us this is the way.

    Take away education. Stress us up about everything. And take our culture away from us.

    Then we will gladly do the rest our selfes.

  • Reply Julia Davis September 17, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Our education system is bad, mkay.

  • Reply Vlad Macovei September 17, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    The talk was nice but the loud outro ruined it for me. I listen using headphones and hurting ears don't go nicely with profound thought and inspiration.

    WTH are you doing TED? You even had a talk about the importance of quietness and non abusive sounds. And this keeps happening after all this time.

    I really like TED Talks but hurting ears go well with anger and frustration!

  • Reply SIMKINETICS September 17, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    As a retired engineer, I hear Ken's message in a retrospective context of recalling my own journey from my own school days. Like others who've posted comments here, I originally wanted to be an artist! I loved to draw, paint, sculpt & sketch. Noting that the word 'artist' also was often coupled with the word 'starving', I had a back-up plan for my education to include bread-and-butter practical classes that prepared me to get a steady-income job right out of high school. That job gave me independence that allowed me to move to my own place! After being in a 'mandatory' public school and under the 'mandates' of living with my parents, this independence was so refreshing! I didn't mind working in an engineering department as a drafter, but I was not impassioned about it, so I went to college part-time to prepare for the next step.

    What was my next step? I really still didn't know what other adults did for a working income, what other jobs were available, what could bring passion & income together for a career. Education should be both personalized and realistic, but we students were never exposed to actual working adults in their jobs who'd show us what various types of work are like. How can an education system omit this? How can a young person discover his practical passion? First, I majored in Physics because I loved it nearly as much as artistic activities; but jobs for physicists seemed to be in very sterile settings, I heard. Then, I went to Architecture School because I figured architecture combined art with physics! Then, I discovered that architects do a lot of boring work to get to the final product and they were frequently unemployed in that field. Ouch! By this time, I was married, started a family & bought a house, so my job could not be supplanted with full-time college. What to do?

    At a crossroads, I continued working my talent for drawing by starting a consulting business to make detailed illustrations of production machinery to help maintenance people & machine operators. I liked the work, but it paid modestly. Little did I realize, this activity was teaching me about machine design, about how things worked! Occasionally, I designed things for my clients, which I found to be very gratifying, though it became apparent that I had much to learn about designing structures & machines! Back to school again, part-time. By this time, I was 30. Anyway, i finally stopped being an illustrator, and went to work as a Mechanical Design Engineer. Finally, I found my profession! I discovered my passion and talent for a career that combined the creativity of the artistic process with the technical prowess that I'd originally dismissed as merely incidental & practical. It took me nearly half of my life to find my niche! It turned out that the later half of my life was filled with fascinating high-tech research & development projects that encouraged the creative process of concocting clever solutions to vexing problems.

    Looking back, I knew I'd made the right choice! I enjoyed my career immensely, though I'm now worn out & glad to be retired! Now, I can think about all the gizmos I've designed over 4 decades, all the other engineers & scientists I've worked with, and now have a real sense of satisfaction! I write all this for the benefit of young folks starting out. My advice is to be aggressively curious about all your possibilities, to really find out who you are, and how you can fit the system without giving up too much. Ask a lot of adults what they do, and ask them to show you and talk with you about their careers. More importantly, work to change the education system to be much more relevant to modern economic reality while giving you tools to find your own niche. American education is due for an overhaul that will treat students with respect for their individuality, expose them to the real world for which they're preparing, and use the best mix of today's great tools for communicating useful knowledge far beyond the purchase of a diploma with money & grunt-work. Discover your niche as early & accurately as you can.

  • Reply 晓栖 September 18, 2015 at 5:14 am

    seen it for years

  • Reply Keira Churchill September 18, 2015 at 6:49 am

    Ken Robinson is such a great communicator.

  • Reply Shanavas Gaffar September 18, 2015 at 10:42 am

    wise & cool

  • Reply Lann September 18, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Amazing man.

  • Reply Hyena Edits September 18, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Yes, but HOW? Everyone hates the American education system but I don't see anything being done to change it.

  • Reply PatricK WithaKay September 18, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    What a wonderful Talk :).

  • Reply Raja Orr September 20, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Third crises is for this speaker to give a comprehensive solution to the problem.

  • Reply MrSero29 September 21, 2015 at 3:58 am

    this is why i need TED.. thanks sir..

  • Reply Lawrence Choi September 21, 2015 at 4:41 am

    Absolutely entertaining and inspiring in one. He's awesome!

  • Reply Raffy Sonata September 21, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Wow this is the second time i'm being amazed by him

  • Reply Moses Martinez September 22, 2015 at 2:50 am

    Sir Robinson 2016

  • Reply Ben Hur Bahia do Nascimento September 22, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Brazil Portuguese subtitle is delayed.

  • Reply arnas dickus September 22, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Not to be rude or anything.But he basically copied the exact presentation of himself in Ted talk Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!. from May 24 on 2010,to this video.He used the same examples almost the same words.He didn't tell anything new.

  • Reply Heinz Lukanu September 23, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    I admire Sir Ken Robinson and his stunning talk about education! Pure inspiration! I wish I could give it more than just one thumb up 😉
    That fast food allusion, that point about linearity, the agriculture image and that touching poem and link to student dreams, and everything spiced with his hilarious humor xD a great man and speaker.

  • Reply Mikala Dicaire September 24, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    My car mechanic is a genius. When he was 6 years old his parents gave him a broken chain saw to take apart because he loved to do that sort of thing. He made an air compressor out of it. When he was 7, he took apart and re-assembled a snow mobile (pre-climate change). This man went through school getting the message that he was unintelligent because he was not aiming to go to University. ''Just one of the shop boys''. I, on the other hand, went to university plenty long. I became a physician. People assume I am intelligent but I would be happy to be half as smart as my mechanic. Wouldn't it be a better world if we could celebrate all the wonderful things that humans can do.

  • Reply Shelley Mizener September 25, 2015 at 11:51 am

    oh my you are so right… we do not cultivate curiosity to self discovery in our educational systems

  • Reply Cristi Vlad September 25, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    I wonder how can someone dislike this.

  • Reply AaronGrooves September 27, 2015 at 12:26 am

    How could anyone dislike this?!? Unbelievable. They must be climate change deniers.

  • Reply Georg Friedrich September 27, 2015 at 8:23 pm


  • Reply Max Do September 28, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Please fix the subtitles delay!

  • Reply Huu Nghi Nguyen September 28, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    put the subtitles to the correct way pleaseeeee!

  • Reply jayfulf September 30, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Please see a tailor, you're a damn knight and you should look the part!

  • Reply Leo Just October 1, 2015 at 3:40 am

    Please fix the subtitles delay

  • Reply Ayodeji Fola-Owolabi October 5, 2015 at 2:29 pm


  • Reply Test Test October 6, 2015 at 1:57 am

    British humor/wit at its best.

  • Reply N N October 7, 2015 at 8:57 pm


  • Reply Mobile Schools October 8, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    based in South Africa and involved in edtech i really enjoy his talks, thanks TED

  • Reply Paul Painter October 9, 2015 at 3:12 am


  • Reply Daniel Hofkes October 13, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    I just wonder if It´s economically sustainable.

  • Reply rainingskunks October 14, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    why would they clap after he only said the word revolution – without having explained or elaborated yet

  • Reply CJ99 October 18, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    If we had several thousand involved in education around the world who think n do as Ken Robinson we'd see the world change even more in the next 20 years than it has in the past 200.

  • Reply Denys November 1, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    such a great speaker ….

  • Reply The Nerdy Millennial November 4, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I really really want to share this on my facebook but all of my friends are in the 12 grade of the "fast food system of education" sir referred to as. Majority of my friends and. people in this society are doing it simply because:

    1) It is believed that this is the only way to gain respect and have a happy future in which you can pursue your hobbies and chase things you are really passionate about AFTER you graduate and get a job!!! ( Take note that I not referring to the people having to take this route because of financial issues having to support their family financially)

    2) For those who cannot stand this system like this friend of mine, their parents just don't approve of opting out of school and learning by doing what you really want to spend time on kind of approach because of the reasons in the above point.
    3) No matter if the student is enjoying this model of education or doing it because of the pressure from the society, getting good marks and getting into good college has sadly come to a stage where almost the entire society judges not only the student but even their parnets solely on the performance of the child in school!

    These are just a few points. I could keep going and going!

    My parents have always supported me to leave tradition method of schooling and have always been motivating me. As I left school after 6th grade, I am still in contact with my school friends and catch up with them revularly. They almost everyday mention to me how lucky and fortunate I really am to have been given a chance by my partners to not be a part of this "torturous education system" we have to gp through.

    I really want to share this, but mt friends are closing on their final boards exam and because of the above reasons, you can guess why I somewhere feel I shouldn't. What should I do? I really want people to realize and adop to what sir mentioned in the video. I get to meet these students everyday who are totally hating this system of manufacturing human resources.

  • Reply Sina Madani November 10, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Everything he says makes so much sense!

  • Reply Just Jam November 16, 2015 at 1:34 am

    Ken Robinson is like sugar on a stick to listen to 🙂 thank you for your amazing lecture!

  • Reply uber LPfan January 4, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    As long as we don't have complete automation the education system won't change.
    What i mean by automation is satisfying basic human needs.
    Agriculture, Factories, Store employees ect. Because we live in a civilization that depends on lower classes.
    It sounds evil but prove me wrong, really.

  • Reply bob barker January 9, 2016 at 7:33 am

    im in 10th grade and i enjoy listening to robinson alot

  • Reply Cymrogogogoch January 28, 2016 at 1:02 am

    This guy says like what i think like

  • Reply Chris Long March 16, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    I love how in 2010 kids didn't wear watches, but in 2016 more kids are wearing watches or fitbits… The circle of life.

  • Reply Shreyas Sudhaman March 17, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    He has a very important point. How can one judge the worth of a child at only age 3? Or even age 6?
    The system doesn't take into account they children need time to develop into full human beings.

  • Reply Nyle Murad April 10, 2016 at 7:48 am

    I was greatly inspired by this Tedtalk and decided to make an animation based on it. Please go and give it a like

  • Reply René Henriksen June 26, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    This man understands human psychology very well….

  • Reply Shreyas Sudhaman July 16, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    11:10 to 12:40

  • Reply Calvin Yeoh August 25, 2016 at 6:36 am

    omg u r the best speaker of al…..truely amazing…

  • Reply rpaslux August 31, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    I guess people didn't really understand the message in this video, from what I read of the comments in this page.
    The statement "Follow your dreams" doesn't really work for everyone because the system is not linear. It's not like "if A, then B therefore also C (and so on)". It's more complex than that. If everyone wants a slice of pizza but pizzas only have 8 slices then logically only 8 people can get a slice for each. Analogue, the same can be said about jobs and careers.

    There is a limited number of companies but a higher number of candidates who finished their studies in a certain field and thus only a select number can really "follow their dreams", because they end up being chosen by those same companies. Actually, I blame schools for even daring to ask for funds for formation (education) in fields that are more prone to be oversaturated easily because those companies are few and far between. I guess teachers need the money but those same teachers end up teaching (almost) for nothing, because (some of) their students will end up working on another field (defeating the purpose of "formation").
    The courses should be made taking in account how many companies there are of a certain field in that country (or city or region) and how many employees are needed for each company. It may be "dreaming a little too high" but I guess it makes more sense than the present system where there are more students with a degree they will not use because there are not enough companies' "seats" for all.

  • Reply SwenglishGamer September 8, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Ted Robinson is an outstanding person! He's funny when he wants to be, he knows what he's talking about and knows how to present his wisdom to us. I often think on the issues that many countries have, and I realise that most often, education, or lack thereof, is the fundamental root of their problems. You look at the US for example where tons and tons of students drop out, which by itself leads to all manner of bad things, but the school system itself is flawed, it's not the fault of the people, it's the profound disinterest the government seems to have in this fundamental problem, and that many campaigning presidents, including Obama, do not adress to any larger degree. Education is one of the great problems not of just america, but the world. Think any terrorists organisations are run by educated people? You think dictatorships have good education? You think the poor people in africa who die of starvation and thirst and sickness, you think they have good education?

  • Reply Daisy Mae September 11, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Phantomhive, your parents who I'm sure ADORE YOU are only wanting what they perceive as the BEST for you…and I get it, but remembering life is a journey and you're just in one stop along the way…all you describe except that without some means to earn an income, can be had as you do earn an income. Do they fear you will live under the bridge in homelessness as you pursue your dreams? What IS your plan to support yourself as you pursue those dreams? Parents have dreams too , and I'm guess they have at least two: to see you successful and self sufficient and the second, to be able to retire seeing your live independently of their support and able to enjoy their OWN lives. Perhaps you need to study and become REALLY GREAT at foreign languages and so you can teach dual languages to others or work in the government of your country to navigate the world? There's a place for everybody who has a dream…even your parents… BTW~LOVE Sir Ken Robinson!

  • Reply ChicagoTurtle1 September 23, 2016 at 9:14 am

    I think completing a college/university program is very important for building a better society. It just depends on what is the intention, which college, and what is studied.

  • Reply Pin November 28, 2016 at 2:39 am

    This guy is great. I have conformed with education right up until i'm 18. I still feel like I haven't found any sort of real talent. I worked my way through it and achieved A levels (not the greatest) and now I am at college having could have gone to university. My class is so bad, my teacher (no disrespect to him) is spontaneous with his lessons and doesn't even have a passion for what he is teaching. It frustrates me as I thought it would help me discover talents which to an extent it has helped me realise how much I enjoy designing. I have been contemplating leaving for a while now and taking a gap year whilst trying to learn design online and self teaching, then start a wide range of projects from web design to actual game design. Any input is appreciated as I am unsure whether it is worth it? Any source sharing how they became successful ironically did it by leaving U.S. Colleges. I understand it works differently with people, I am just finding it increasingly frustrating writing essays and not learning anything about Interactive Game Design. Any advice is appreciated 🙂

  • Reply Luuk March 29, 2017 at 10:46 am

    He does it all without using any visuals

  • Reply Bullseye Killer April 29, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Ken Robinson does it again:)

  • Reply ALBANA DHIMITRI April 30, 2017 at 7:16 am


  • Reply Billy Archila May 10, 2017 at 3:57 am


  • Reply Otter InBham May 17, 2017 at 3:29 am

    I'll give you the perfect example: Band.

    The kids start out in band in sixth grade knowing next to nothing. Different kids have to learn different instruments. The class size is one instructor for every 50 or 60 kids. The band is typically not well funded, is pretty much left alone to do its thing.

    By the time you get to high school, most band programs are rather good. The kids are very competent at their instruments. Moreover, they march around on football fields, making complex formations while playing at halftime. They do this with kids of various ages and of various skill levels, largely peer-led, but highly motivated. There are few discipline problems, a high degree of individualism, and the self-motivation that comes from shared goals. Practice hard, and You can be the top player in your section when you're a freshman.

    Unless you really screw up in band, such as skip a performance, you get an A. Yet the product is typically very good. Why do educators not examine how band directors teach their classes and learn from it?

  • Reply Taibi Saad August 24, 2017 at 8:52 am

    4:41 … Revolution in Education

  • Reply Valeria Del Rio-Rodriguez October 3, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    So u believe in the anarchist education system

  • Reply Kopf & Herz October 29, 2017 at 9:21 am

    Ken Robinson is brilliant, brilliant, BRILLIANT !!!

  • Reply Paul Briody October 31, 2017 at 1:16 am

    Brilliant, as always.

  • Reply Dan1el 84 November 14, 2017 at 4:43 am

    Can you please summarize your TED talk, so I can get a better understanding on this.

  • Reply Patricia Vorwald November 15, 2017 at 2:53 am

    I agree with you , we are taking away the creativity of the students. As a foreign language teacher , I wish we can create a curriculum that would actually improve the linguistic skills in Spanish rather than standards.

  • Reply Bryan Perrin December 23, 2017 at 8:55 am

    If YouTube devised a 'Love it' button, I'd use it.

    Until then, the single, blue thumb-up will be it for this highly efficient, deeply profound, and truly galvanizing talk. Well-done, Sir Robbinson.

  • Reply orange circle January 7, 2018 at 2:28 am

    Yes, I love flow state.

  • Reply Tadros Mansour February 27, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    This guy … changed the way I think for good.

  • Reply ISABEL GONÇALVES April 30, 2018 at 2:40 pm


  • Reply Mayku July 6, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Super inspiring. Education shouldn't be elitist. Fingers crossed one day this will happen.

  • Reply Sheri Newmark July 29, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    Perfect! Everyone who sees and feels this will know its truth.

  • Reply xavier lumley September 24, 2018 at 6:44 am


  • Reply Ventus Tavistock October 16, 2018 at 6:01 am

    I'm with you 100% Ken and I want to become part of your movement – I'm the Programme Leader for Engineering university level learning at a UK college and I'm regularly forced to stop all student learning so I can hold a full-team management meetings!

  • Reply Cosmas Dexie November 1, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    A 3 year old is not half a six year old. Wow.

  • Reply 연도 December 17, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    I was deeply impressed by your lecture. My dream is to be an elementary school teacher. Nevertheless, I seem to be more interested in the current education system than in the future. But now your lecture has changed my mind. As you say, all children have their own talent. It's just that we, grown-ups, can't find it. So I admit that we need a Michelin restaurant education tailored to each student, not a standardized fast food education. So, I hope to become a teacher who can be customized for every students rather than standardized teacher. Thank you for teaching me many things.

  • Reply Rachana Gupta December 23, 2018 at 1:30 pm


  • Reply Viking Adventurer February 4, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    He's exactly right 👌

  • Reply Jacqueline de Groot April 14, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    You might be interested in a book Margaret McMillan wrote in 1903: eduation through the imagination. She was the first who determined the place and function in primary education. I wonder why people that talk about education and imagination hardly refer to her.

  • Reply sundiii99OWS April 15, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    I was about 16-17 when one day I was given another assignment (that I thought I couldn't do) and realized that I hated school! But I also hated when there wasn't school because there was nothing else to do! I didn't know what to do about it, or what caused it. Years later after many years at a job (that I thought I liked) I finally realized that I hated my job! And again, I also hated not going to my job because there was nothing else to do! Again, I didn't know what to do about it, or what caused it. Now I know: it's capitalism! Schools should have taught everyone (from 3-6) about science and medicine, really important things everyone needs to know! We're told that capitalism helped progress and gave us computers, but now I know if we'd had equal wealth, we probably would have had computers and education of science and medicine much earlier! More people would have had better opportunities to invent and create many new things, rather than killing strikers and people who only wanted unions to get them better pay and safer living and work conditions! Without capitalism forcing people into working 16-12 hours a day making unhealthy foods, advertising millions of "snack foods" and creating special events (Halloween, Easter, Christmas, 4th of July, etc) and using advertising to promote people buying too much CANDY, pies, cakes, pastries, Etc, making people obese, diabetic, etc, which killed everyone! And we could have all been born and raised in safe 50-story Tower cities connected to maglev Trains, without snacks, candies, pies, cakes, cars, houses, malls, colleges, etc, so we could have all lived longer, happier lives, without much disease, to age 100+! Blame capitalism!

  • Reply Gregorstone May 14, 2019 at 11:31 am

    7:39 I'm a teenager who watches this with a wristwatch on my left arm.

  • Reply Ahnaf Raiyean May 19, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    God among men

  • Reply Thomas Harris May 26, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Wonderful. But you have to do away with the exit examination or this’ll never be considered.

  • Reply Shripad Ghuge May 28, 2019 at 11:24 am

    10:47 "Human communities depend upon our diversity of talent; not a singular conception of ability."

  • Reply drranjitha June 10, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Great topic, great speaker, great speech 🙂 The metaphor of the dream, used in the poem, at the end was the cherry on the cake. I am watching this 4 years from when it was published, have things changed in the model of education in US or else where?

  • Reply drranjitha June 10, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    "Everyday everywhere our children spread their dreams beneath our feet and we should tread softly." Wow! I was deeply moved.

  • Reply Arnold Van Kampen July 23, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    I like the Lincoln quote:
    The dogmas of the quiet past
    are inadequate to the stormy present.
    The occasion is piled hight with difficulty,
    and we must rise with the occasion.

  • Reply Arnold Van Kampen July 23, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Non-linear systems are hard to teach.
    There are usually stable states, attractors.
    But I believe it is only possible to measure it or to model it
    and hope the model will behave any where near the real thing.
    But it is very hard if not impossible to calculate the tipping points
    whereby a system moves from one stable state to the next.
    So they do not fit nicely into a course as well as linear systems
    do. There is a lot of math involved is linear systems.
    And all that math can be tested for grades.
    I think that makes sense.
    When you are in engineering, you do not start to tell your
    class that you do not have a clue and you should spend a
    week or so in a software model simulation first before
    answering: engineering is all about predictability.
    It makes sense somehow.

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