Graduating to different

Saying that education is not about raising standards - "What? Are we going to lower them?" - and suggesting that an education system modeled on the industrial age fails children today, Sir Ken Robinson goes on to praise the virtues of "divergent thinking," or the ability to interpret and answer questions in many different ways.

He describes how Kindergarten children are geniuses at discovering how a paper clip should be used - why not make them 200 feet tall and out of foam? - but gradually lose this ability to think differently over time as they become "educated."

Yes, of course standards are needed, but in an age when information is so readily available, the premium is not on what we know - we know more than ever - but in our ability to put what we know together in unique and valuable ways, to imagine different outcomes, to ask better questions.

Divergent thinking is a necessary prelude to creative thinking, and that's what the IdeaFestival celebrates. I hope to see you there!