Tuesday, 15 November 2011


Back in March I attended a presentation by Sir Ken Robinson in Glasgow and subsequently became involved in a lengthy discussion on this blog about Sir Ken’s message. Since I had not read any of his books it seemed appropriate to see what he had to say for himself in his latest offering “The Element”. I bought the book in March and have been struggling to finish it ever since. Today I decided terminate the struggle and to commemorate this with a review on Amazon:

Is this book right for you?

Like many people, when I saw Sir Ken Robinson’s first video on Ted.com I was inspired. He seemed to get right at the heart of the problem with present day education and his focus on creativity spoke directly to some of my most deeply held and cherished values. There is no doubt that he has some important things to say and he clearly possesses a prodigious skill with storytelling but the more I consider his message the more I feel that he is playing on a whole swathe of unexamined assumptions and vagaries about the nature of creativity, human capacity and achievement.

Surely nobody would wish to be LESS creative than they currently are. But the consequence of this modest truth is that any respected person who proposes to offer us a way to enhance our own, or our children’s, creative potential is likely to command our attention to a far greater degree than might otherwise be the case - especially if they themselves communicate with intelligence and creative flair.

There are two questions that you need to ask yourself before buying this book:

1: Does everyone possess a unique creative talent?

2: Could there be a universal formula for maximising this creative potential?

If your answer is “yes” to both of these questions then you will love this book. If you are unsure then you will probably like this book. If your answer is “no” to both of these questions then you will find Sir Ken’s evangelism absolutely insufferable.


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