I came across this marvelous book by watching an interview with the author that was posted on Michael Hyatt’s blogsite. For those of us who are right brained and lean a little more to the abstract and conceptual side of the street, anything to do with creativity is compelling. So I bought it.
Sir Kenneth Robinson is Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Warwick. His achievements include a vast list of world-wide accomplishments in education, creativity, and cultural development. Out of Our Minds is directed toward the field of education in America.
His hypothesis is that our educational system is lagging, still preparing children for employment in an industrial age that has long passed. According to the author, metrics like standardized achievement tests and measuring for “I.Q.” are no longer valid means of marking student’s preparation for the new digital age. Educators will read this book with a particular bias that those of us who are not educators cannot appreciate. While I am not an educator in the narrow sense, his arguments about our public education system were intriguing.
Having said that, Robinson’s thoughts have caused me to wonder whether the discipleship models utilized in today’s local church are being effective. Most local church’s have parroted discipleship forms that are classroom models. Uniform curricula is offered at a standard time and people are encouraged to select from one or more course offerings. Little variety is offered in teaching style, for the main objective is teaching discipleship material and following the syllabus, not making disciples. If attendance is low, churches look for more sensational teaching materials (like “The Book of Revelation”) or felt need driven topics (“Financial Peace University” or other matters pertaining to marriage and the family). What if our discipleship model looked more like a Montessori school than a traditional educational model? What if we developed a system that was more British than American? What if we placed less emphasis on master teachers and more on mentoring or even peer to peer learning? What if “disciples” were allowed to participate in the development of discipleship programs vs. being asked to participate? What would that look like? What could that look like?
Is today’s church being innovative in creating disciples? That’s one take away from Robinson’s book.
Tomorrow I’ll do a second post on some of Robinson’s views on creativity.