Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

Reflections from reading "The Element" by Ken Robinson

Being in your element is when you feel the flow and nothing else is present. Finding that zone where time moves more quickly and fluidly happens mostly when you do something that you are really passionate about. Your element can be a medium of expression or a field of interest.
Sir Ken Robinson is one of the sharpest critics of our educational system. He show in this book how important, and sometimes hard it is to find our own Element. Schools should help us find our true passions - unfortunately they very often fail, sometimes without an attempt . Each one of us has a unique personality and unique way t
o get in the zone. Thinking in terms of categories like the Meyer Briggs 16 personalities types, prevents us from finding our  unique Element. I like his critic of the Myer-Briggs personality test; according to Robinson neither Ms. Briggs nor her daughter Ms. Myers had any qualifications in the field of psychometric testing when they designed the test, still used on millions of people every year. It limits our thinking of personalities down to categories.
The following sums up his view on our educational system:

"The fact is that given the challenges we face, education doesn't need to be reformed it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardize education but to personalize, to build achievement on discovering individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they naturally can discover their true passions. The key is to embrace the core principle of the element"

This book is simply great and worth a read from anyone. It was for me a start on a journey to find my own Element - I have discovered interestingly enough that I am really passionate about learning and education. If you want a teaser check out Sir Ken Robinsons TED Talk How schools kill creativity