Robinson to give lecture on creativity and education

Courtesy Photo / Sebastiaan ter Burg

Sir Ken Robinson

Courtesy Photo / Sebastiaan ter Burg Sir Ken Robinson

Rachel Cross

Many people go through their education experience without really learning different ways of thinking. But Ken Robinson, an educator and author of the book “The Element,” aims to teach people to find their creative side and passions so that they can be used for innovation and fresh ideas in the real world.

On Wednesday, March 27, Robinson will be speaking in the Fieldhouse at Grand Valley State University from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Throughout his lecture he will be discussing how educational systems should implement more creativity in students’ instruction.

Brian Jbara, director of the Integrative Learning and Advising office, said “The Element” is this year’s book for the community read program.

“Every year we have a community reading project and have a committee to select the book,” Jbara said. “Various faculty members and student affairs select the classes and units at Grand Valley to be used in their teachings. We also connect with the community public libraries as well and help them incorporate the book into their programming; we want to involve as many people possible.”

He added that this year is the first time ever that the community read project has become a joint project with the Frederick Meijer Honors Lecture Series.

“The Frederick Meijer Honors Lecture Series involves speakers who talk about creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation and education,” Jbara said. “Our community read project along with the lecture series had a synergistic commonality and common thread with this event, and we both carried a good load of undertaking this joint program.”

Jbara said they selected Robinson’s book as their community read book this year because he talks about a paradigm shift that is occurring in education and that educational systems need to start thinking about the importance of innovation.

“We have had the conversation of the importance of innovation both nationwide and locally, and this book focuses on not just teaching in the classroom, but connecting and applying things outside of the classroom, too,” Jbara said.

Jeff Chamberlain, director of the Frederick Meijer Honors College, said the selection of Robinson to speak at GVSU correlates well with the lecture series because of his emphasis on liberal education.

“The Meijer Lecture Series specifically targets speakers who can help us understand how liberal education is valuable in our careers, for leadership and innovation,” Chamberlain said. “Robinson gets to that very well in ‘The Element,’ he talks about how to find your passion, as well as creating a culture for innovation.”

Chamberlain said he highly recommends students listen to Robinson’s lecture because he is one of the most innovative and influential thinkers in the world.

“Ken Robinson is someone whose ideas will touch you and help you in ways that you can’t begin to fathom,” Chamberlain said. “He touches on how different companies and workplaces need employers who are as agile as possible and that people need to keep finding more relevant ways that fit our modern world.”

Jbara said he recommends students attend this event because Robinson talks about how people can find their element, which is crucial for college students as they prepare to enter the real world.

“Robinson has spoken with people from all different levels and points in their academic or professional careers,” Jbara said. “He emphasizes that you don’t have to do something just because someone else is doing it, but rather people should think about doing things outside the box. It’s all about creativity versus conformity.”
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