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Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  2,740 ratings  ·  295 reviews
A revolutionary reappraisal of how to educate our children and young people by the New York Times bestselling author of The Element and Finding Your Element
Ken Robinson is one of the world’s most influential voices in education, and his 2006 TED Talk on the subject is the most viewed in the organization’s history. Now, the internationally recognized leader on creativity
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by Viking
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Sean Blevins
Jul 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: education, nonfiction
A book of anecdotes and ideas, not research and prescription.

The vagaries and generalities make the book come across as fluff - far less substantial than Schmoker's Focus for example. Nonetheless, it is not without value.

I find myself still thinking about Robinson's "Eight Core Competencies" - habits and skills that a proper education should instill in all students

1) Curiosity
2) Creativity
3) Criticism
4) Communication
5) Collaboration
6) Compassion
7) Composure
8) Citizenship

And I appreciate the sig
Matt Morley
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
I found this book frustrating, although that may be because my expectations for it were misaligned from the start.

I have watched Robinson’s TED talk and was excited by some of his ideas; ideas that push the envelope on current educational thinking and explore the potential that schools could have if we re-evaluated embedded policies and established norms. Why do we batch pupils by age-group? Why do we churn pupils through an academic-focused curriculum that’s ill-suited to many of them? These ar
Daniel Aguilar
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
A pretty extensive catalog of examples of schools and institutions (mainly in the U.S. and the U.K., but also in other countries) who are pushing away from an education model too obsessed with grades and competition at all levels (between students, classrooms, schools, districts, states, countries), and who are trying to focus on the student real needs: self-confidence, curiosity, respect, creativity, sociability...

The author provides an interesting collection of broad ideas and frameworks which
Brenda Hoffman
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an arc copy of Creative Schools. I found it very readable and well written. He combines teaching concepts with illustrations that demonstrate his points. It was optimistic compared Jonathon Kozol's Savage Inequalities. recommend this book.
Marta Kondryn
Dec 19, 2015 rated it liked it
The book is rather academic, than practical. It has a few frameworks on the better (creative schools) and what governments, parents and organisations could do to make the learning experience better, however it lacked practical examples of these frameworks. Apart of that, the book is also hard to read and I caught my mind wandering around while reading.
John Martinez
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. It's one of my top 5 edu-books. Sir Ken tells the story of schools in America from the beginning of mass schooling to the present. He shares lots of ways to make schooling more meaningful for students and better ROI for society. Sir Ken shares many examples from around the world to make his case.
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Eh... same old.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first time I heard of Ken Robinson was through his Ted Talk "Do schools kill creativity?" ( I thought it was a brilliant talk and had been meaning to read more of his work since then.

As written in the title, this book outlines Robinson's vision for an education reform. Note that many schools now have incorporated Robinson's concept of teaching/learning or have completely revamped their curriculum accordingly. What Robinson promotes is not just a theo
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ken Robinson is determined to help education, and I think Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education is his best effort yet. Robinson seeks out schools and teachers and methodologies that produce fabulous results and shares these schools and teachers and methodologies with us. You can't help but be motivated to join Robinson's revolution after reading this book, I think.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was our required summer teacher reading; what an enlightening, informative, and interesting reflection on schools today! There were some parts were repetitive, and there were some parts I was super curious to know more about, but on the whole, the message of reinvention and creating a new path in education is as necessary as it is timely. Worth the read - or let's collaborate, and you can borrow mine ;)
Kelly Gilbert
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
While there is some good information in this book, I found that I could have read the dust jacket and gotten the idea. I kept coming back to it, hoping that I was missing something, but finally finished it grudgingly and wish I could just have the time back.
David Rowney
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I very much respect and support Ken Robinson's views on Education and the problems we face with it. This book allows the author to share out examples of the good work that he has observed across the US and wider world.
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
370.973 ROB
After his TED talk, "Do Schools Kill Creativity".
Author is a U.K English speaker and international advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education and arts bodies.

Summary: This book is mainly focused on early childhood to the end of high school of education. The drives of raising achievement are motivation and expectation of students. All successful education examples come from low income families, there is few or no examples of education reform for mid
Teo 2050


Robinson R & Aronica L (2015) (08:13) Creative Schools - The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education


Introduction: One Minute to Midnight

01. Back to Basics
• The Standards Movement
• Taking Control
• Raising Standards
• • Standardization
• • Competition
• • Corporatization
• How’s It Going?
• Externalities
• • The School-to-Prison Pipeline
• • Disengagement
• • Anxiety and Pressure
• Back to Basics

02. Changing Metaphors
• Alternative Ed
It's not that I disagree with Ken Robinson necessarily. I certainly think that vocational courses should be taught with rigor and dedication. I also think the arts and recess and play are important components in education. Heaven knows, I've seen enough floundering graduate students (and Marys on summer break...) to know that the ability to self direct is crucial.

It's just he's so glib about it all. The TED-talk-isms (Name dropping, relating stories of atypical turnaround stories,"Our children a
Andrea Burke-Saulnier
I have to admit that I am biased in regards to Dr. Robinson’s work. His vision of what education should and can be is not only research-based but also situated in current stories of educational success. What I particularly appreciate in this text is how Dr. Robinson’s explains how each educational stakeholder (teachers, administrators, parents and policy makers) can contribute positively to the students’ success - academically and developmentally. A must read for anyone interested in the evoluti ...more
Tena Edlin
Ken Robinson always makes me think. I know education can be different... so many of us know this. But how and where do we start? Ken Robinson gives me some good ideas, and it's been fun (in a frustrating way) to discuss those ideas with my colleagues and administration. Industrial Revolution era schools are not going to meet the needs of a changing world. We have to be part of the solution.
Tianhong Shi
Expert teachers fulfill four roles: engage, enable, expect and empower.
The best teachers are "mentors and guides who can raise the confidence of their students, help them find a sense of direction, and empower them to believe in themselves."
Louis House
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: education
Other readers, perhaps less involved in the world of education, may find this book a good initiation into what can be a contentious topic. Robinson lays out his philosophy well enough, but I found myself skimming large portions of text. Anecdotal and not all that radical.
Stephanie  Weatherly
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
I had a hard time with this book. While I agreed with many of his points, there wasn't a lot of actionable items to implement. I like professional development books where I can implement an idea the next day. This one was full of philosophical ideas & lacked a clear action plan for me. ...more
An excellent book with good ideas and research. I recommend it to parents who want to help their children rise above the conveyor belt ideology of the public school system. Great recommendation for educators as well.
Ricardo Garcia
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant man, schools absolutely need to change and should look at ways to do so.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for over a year, I think. I borrowed it when I went on mat leave, thinking I'd be all interested in doing some professional reading to keep me invested in my teaching career while I was off. Needless to say, with a brand new baby to keep me busy, somehow the priority of this book dropped down a bit. :) However, now with just six and a half weeks remaining until I go back to work, I've begun to start thinking about teaching again and happened to toss thi ...more
Abby Franks
Sir Ken Robinson (and Lou Aronica)’s book Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education was exactly how it sounds. It highlighted what is currently wrong with our education system (not just in the U.S., but around the world) and then what different levels of stakeholders (parents, teachers, administrators, policy-makers, or community members) can do about it. The book was a review of Robinson’s other books/talks and added a few more examples of schools/districts/leade ...more
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for my friends who care about education. Sir Ken Robinson provides for the education system "a critique of the way things are, a vision of how they should be, and a theory of change for how to move from one to the other." He shows a course to a more dynamic, personalized, and effective way of educating the world's children. I love that this book promotes creativity, human individuality, and the arts while also being structured throughout. Thoughtful structure and creativity complemen ...more
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up because Ken Robinson is a man with much more conviction and talent than I, who managed to make a place in the world which I very much value. This book gets 4 stars because I agree with him and his message.

I do not however agree with this book in total. It was inspiring, but shallow. It was informed but not necessarily detailed. Ken (and Aronica) said a lot of things that are hard to disagree with, but I still don't know quite what I gained from this book. Perhaps my circum
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ever since I watched Ken Robinson's famous TED Talk he has been an inspiration to me. This book was a good refresher on education transformation with a bit more practical advice on how to go about making changes in education. The best quote and piece of good advice from his book for me was this one:

"Benjamin Franklin once said that there are three sorts of people in the world: those who are immovable, those who are movable, and those who move. We know what he meant. Some people don't see the nee
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
There are so many great things about this book that I don't know where to start. I thought one of the advantages of this is that you don't have to be a teacher to create meaning--you don't even have to work at a school. There were ways that Robinson mentioned community members can impact and improve the school, in addition to teachers, principals, and others.

Of the many takeaways from this book, what I really liked was the idea of academic play. Allowing students to have unstructured play withi
Hassan Tahir
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book should be a must-read for anyone working in the education sector or interested in it. Ken Robinson uses a multitude of case studies and research projects to expound his views on the need to revamp the discussion on education. He argues that education and learning in the 21st century must meet the demands of the 21st century. We cannot adhere to the same old standards and curricula that we've been following for several decades; we must incorporate new research and innovative ideas into ...more
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed reading this book! The U.S. education systems needs more overhauling than most of use know. It's doing exactly what it was created to do originally-continue to limit the future life opportunities for children of color and from low-income, working class backgrounds while ensuring that the wealthy, white children continue to inherit the wealth of power of the world.

*Multi-age classrooms
*Child centered learning
*Schools that are actively engaged in their communities
*Reduced dependency
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Sir Ken Robinson (born Liverpool 4 March 1950) is an internationally recognized leader in the development of innovation and human resources. He has worked with national governments in Europe and Asia, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, national and state education systems, non-profit corporations and some of the world’s leading cultural organizations. They include the Royal Shakes ...more

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As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of young ...
33 likes · 11 comments
“One problem with the systems of assessment that use letters and grades is that they are usually light on description and heavy on comparison. Students are sometimes given grades without really knowing what they mean, and teachers sometimes give grades without being completely sure why. A second problem is that a single letter or number cannot convey the complexities of the process that it is meant to summarize. And some outcomes cannot be adequately expressed in this way at all. As the noted educator Elliot Eisner once put it, “Not everything important is measurable and not everything measurable is important.” 10 likes
“When children aren’t given the space to struggle through things on their own, they don’t learn to problem-solve very well. They don’t learn to be confident in their own abilities, and it can affect their self-esteem.” 9 likes
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