I can’t recommend someone read a 260-page book that ought to have been condensed into 50 pages or less. Robinson jumps from subject to subject—the virtues of pursuing one’s passion, the failures of modern education, the value of mentorship and tribal communities, etc.—, but never quite figures out what he wants to talk about nor how it all connects. I often forgot that I was reading a book about “how finding your passion changes everything.” Furthermore, Robinson adds few, if any, creative insights to the debates about passion-driven careers, opting to spout clichés and a hodgepodge of anecdotes to make most of his points (e.g., “This famous person made it in life by pursuing their passion, so why not you!”). For every anecdote of someone who succeeded in making their passion into their vocation/career, I wonder how many stories of failures are left unsaid.
Disappointing. Stick with his 20-minute TED talk “How...
If, like me, you were thunderstruck by Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk ("Your daughter's not sick; she's a dancer") then you already believe that our current education system--as he says--does a pretty ruthless job of destroying creativity. This book is a detailed exploration of the notions from that first TED talk.
The stories are poignant. If you don't believe education has to be more human centered, this book will convince you. But that's the problem.
If you're looking for the next steps--perhaps a way to help a child or loved one find what Joseph Campbell called "your bliss" then go for the sequel to this book. This book is an extended justification. Perhaps the saddest commentary is that we need to justify a return to more human-centered teaching, and Robinson does his usual wonderful job of describing with humor and insight--its a fun read--but if you're looking for an action guide, go for the sequel.
The foundation thinking for this book is long overdue - when you love what you do you will do it happily and well throughout your life. Many adults have followed that dictum but many more adults, the teaching community particularly, has applied the word 'work' to define what should be our most creative, productive and, thereby, fulfilling time of our lives - school. When the word 'work' is substituted for 'passion' all the life goes out of wanting to be in a classroom. it will be 'work'; we must complete our school 'work'; We have to get this job done for our 'work'. if you change that word out for 'passion' what a revelation of difference it makes. I tried to find a school for my very smart, energetic and creative stepson that followed such an open and energizing philosophy and there was none to be had in the '80s. As a result he detested school and left early to follow his passion. Thank Heaven he did! He excelled in his field and, along the way, mastered all the math,...
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