Ken Robinson – “At the heart of education is a teacher and a learner and we’ve, over time, kind of obfuscated that relationship with every type of distraction. We have syllabuses, we have testing regimes, testing companies, political ideologies, political purposes, subject loyalties, unit issues, building codes, all of these time tables, schedules – it’s why we can spend all day long discussing education and never mention teaching or learning. But if there’s no teaching and learning happening there is no education going on. So if we’re going to improve education we have to improve that a bit, and everything else has to take a place around it and not get in the middle of it or get in the way of it.”
For me – this is the heart of educational policies today. We’ve got to start from this foundation by implementing policies that support teachers and learners. Prior to the quote, Robinson shares an analogy through a thought experiment of the essence of theater performances. Ultimately, the core element of any theater involves an actor and an audience. Additional props, settings, etc. are introduced to complement that relationship only if they positively impact the performance. In the same way, as Robinson points out (video embedded below), successful education reforms must respect the importance of that relationship.