Noted education innovator Sir Ken Robinson to speak at Duffy Center

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Joe DiSipio

Brian Tatlow ’14 & Joe DiSipio ’14 / Editors in Chief

Sir. Ken. Robinson. Do those words mean anything to you? If you said no, be assured that the words Malvern Prep probably didn’t mean too much to him until recently.

It would be a good idea to get well acquainted with Sir Ken Robinson, who will come to the Duffy Center on October 1 at 6:30 PM to speak about “Creating and Leading a Culture of Innovation.”

The world renowned thinker and specialist in education is best known for being the highest viewed TED speaker. His talk on why schools kill creativity has over 250 million views worldwide. He is in every essence of the word a world leader.

And somehow he is coming to Malvern Prep.

This all started about a year ago when Head of School Mr. Christian Talbot showed one of SKR’s talks to the faculty on an in service day. Blown away by his philosophy and ideas, Activities Director Dr. James Fry approached Mr. Talbot and asked, “Wouldn’t it be great if Sir Ken came and spoke to our school?”

Well, one year and a series of negotiations later, Robinson is coming to talk in the Duffy Center on October 1.

A scene from Ken Robinson's TED talk 'Changing Education Paradigms' at RSA Animate
A scene from Ken Robinson’s TED talk ‘Changing Education Paradigms’ at RSA Animate

With all the buzz around the school about 21st century learning, a new innovative learning commons, and Talbot’s ideas on creation, connection, and collaboration, there doesn’t seem to be someone better to come and talk at Malvern.

“Creativity is as important now in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status,” said Robinson during one of his lectures. “We have sold ourselves into a fast food model of education, and it’s impoverishing our spirit and our energies as much as fast food is depleting our physical bodies.”

Dr. Fry sees how Robinson’s ideas can apply to the classroom. “I believe that Sir Ken challenges teachers to look beyond themselves and find niches where students can explore the subject matter in a more non-traditional capacity,” says Fry. “I like the creativity that he advocates for in the classroom. I think offering a balance of both right and left brain methods allow for a well rounded individual.”

Mr. Talbot shared Fry’s excitement, stating, “He is a leader because he proposes ideas aimed at ‘changing educational paradigms,’ per the title of his most famous TED talk, and supports those ideas with research and data.” Beyond that, the school and its headmaster will gain some pretty noble advice from Sir Ken.

“After [Robinson’s talk], I will moderate a small round-table discussion with him and Trung Le, the principal architectural designer from Cannon Design / Third Teacher +, who are doing our master campus plan.”  The audience is welcome to remain for the discussion.  Afterwards, Robinson will sign books.

Tickets will be made available to the public, after a certain number of reserved seats for the Malvern community are filled, according to Mr. Talbot. Once faculty, staff, trustees, parents, and select students RSVP, the public will be able to purchase tickets through a ticketing page.

For more information, stay tuned to the Malvern Weekly or contact Mr. Jim Mack, Director of Communications, at [email protected].

So check out his lectures online about education in today’s society, and remember to mark your calendars for Tuesday October 1st. This is an opportunity not to be missed.