I just finished reading Ken Robinson’s book The Element. The title comes from the idiom of someone being in his or her “element.” The book is filled with stories of people who have discovered and followed their passions.
Here are a couple quotes from the book regarding standardized education.
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 it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.
Learning happens in the minds and souls of individuals — not in the databases of multiple-choice tests. I doubt there are many children who leap out of bed in the morning wondering what they can do to raise the reading score for their state. Learning is a personal process …
Here is a talk (link died) Ken Robinson gave at TED in 2006 that led to his writing The Element. The video is entertaining as well as thought-provoking.