One of Kloodle’s founding values was to celebrate what young people can do as opposed to what they can’t. Too often, we hear employers point out poor grades, lack of experience, or some other flaw when judging a young person. Apply for a job and people look for reasons to reject you. We want Kloodle to celebrate people’s abilities and what they can achieve, not their shortcomings.
Sir Ken Robinson delivered a TED talk in 2007 that has gone on to become one of the most viewed of all times. His talk discusses our education system’s obsession with academic ability. This obsession is also based around a certain hierarchy of subjects. Maths, sciences, and english are favoured over the arts and creative subjects. Sir Ken states that we built this system around the requirements of the industrial age and so the education system in its current state is not fit for purpose. Hence the disconnect between “education” and “employability”. Trouble is, we are in the middle of a renaissance.
Sir Ken argues that creativity should be given equal status to literacy in schools. He argues that human progression can be attributed to our creativity. He also argues that schools waste this creativity by focussing on “the right answer” and chastising mistakes. We focus on what kids can’t do as opposed to what they can. He points out that intelligence is diverse, and not confined to the two or three subjects we give status to in schools.
The new renaissance needs these creatives. We need people who can solve problems. We need people who can communicate effectively. We need leaders. We need scientists who look for answers to unknown problems. We need politicians who can navigate a world decreasing in size and boundary. We need people who can think for themselves and are true to their personalities. No longer can you be a lifer, a salary-person, you need to learn the skills of the independent-thinker, the entrepreneur.
Kloodle provides a platform for students to showcase their talents. No longer are people defined by their grades. We celebrate what they can do. Kloodle allows people to demonstrate their creativity. We look for the aspects of a student’s personality that just doesn’t shine through in a grade. We allow students to showcase their personality through blogs, photos, videos and work documents, through projects, their contributions to interest groups and their comments on other students’ work.
Sir Ken’s talk and Kloodle’s ethos align. We agree that young people’s talents extend way beyond a piece of paper with their exam grades. We believe that our economy needs more than scientists, mathematicians and engineers. We agree that the new renaissance provides more opportunity than ever, but the nature of these opportunities is more diverse than ever. The world is getting smaller, yet the opportunity to make an impact is increasing. Let’s strive to develop an education system that celebrates talent in all of its forms; not just talent in narrow areas of historic interest.
Last week, we signed our 30th college. The colleges we work with are joining us on a journey to place a student’s journey at the forefront of their education; not just their end result. As a token of our gratitude, we’re sending a copy of Sir Ken Robinson’s book, The Element, to each of these colleges. We hope you agree, Sir Ken’s thoughts offer a blueprint for a 21st century education. Happy reading!