Inspiring Talks - Peter Grey's TEDx on how schools thwart our passions

 Every day whilst the kids grab their 'TV time' I spend mine (with hot chocolate in hand) watching inspiring videos from people who are not only easy to listen to but who really capture my imagination and challenge my views.

Having read Peter Grey's book Free To Learn, I realised recently that I hadn't actually watched any of his talks so this was my first one; his TEDx talk on 'How Schools Thwart Passions.'

As with so many other videos from great educational speakers (my current favourites being Ken Robinson, Pat Farenga, Naomi Fisher and Gina Riley) I love listening to talks by people in positions of influence who are able to (much more succinctly than I ever could,) express how I also feel about the current state of education, the importance of play and finding and developing our passions. Mostly the main reasons behind us home educating. 

After watching this particular talk it left me reflecting on the sad fact that our current status quo isn't on helping our citizens find their strengths and using those to not only enhance their own lives but also the lives of others, leaving the world a better place than when we arrived, in our own small way. Instead we spend years being turned off learning, then more years doing jobs we hate and all in the name of what? 

It's baffling really that we have allowed ourselves to fall for this narrative for so long. Society seems, in some ways, more of a mess than ever before despite our amazing advances in technology. Maybe it's as simple as being able to exist is just way too easy and we struggle to handle it with a lack of direction and ambition? Maybe we need more challenges? Maybe the focus needs to be on less money and material goods and more experiential learning and an element of struggle? 

Whatever the solution, as I am no more able to offer one than anyone else, I don't think more play, more discovering of your passions and then putting that into practice could be harmful? Quite the opposite I reckon. Surely if you can increase the population's happiness, giving them meaningful, productive goals, reduce competition for pointless things and encourage innovation then you may just start to have a cohesive, collaborative society where people aren't pitted against each other, but instead work together for the benefit of all?  

It's a nice thought! 

All this from one talk, here's the embedded video from Peter Grey if you fancy a watch, or you can see it here on You Tube.


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