I have just seen a passionate TedX talk by Jay Berckley (TedX Houston 2012).
In the talk Jay argues that the present system of education in the U.S.A. is failing children. He states that there are too many children who drop out because they are bored, disengaged and sometimes even beaten by their teachers! (Apart from the beatings, this would apply equally to the United Kingdom where I live).
He goes on to talk about the success of the Finnish education system that has a highly trained teaching force, that does not start until children are seven years of age, that allows teachers to spend more than one year with a class, that has no private schools and keeps testing to a minimum.
He then discusses the key importance of promoting arts education and backs this up with data about academic success being achieved by institutions that allow the arts to flourish.
Throughout the talk he is passionate in his advocacy of a new approach to education that allows children to follow their passions whatever their economic or social circumstances.
He ends by linking all he has said to his own background of coming from a poor, single-parent household and finding a mentor that encouraged him to follow his dreams which was to be a musician and a teacher.
I have written this post in the hope that it will encourage more people to watch his talk and spread the messages that he tells us. I would like to thank my friend Christine Termini Passarella for providing the link to Jay’s excellent talk.