Valley is the hottest, driest place in the U.S. and normally it gets
less than two inches of rain a year. But from December 2004 to March
2005, an extraordinary six inches of rain soaked the desert floor. The result was a rainbow carpet of desert wildflowers-one of the most spectacular blooms in modern history.
"That proves Death Valley isn’t dead,” said Sir Ken Robinson. "It’s dormant. Right beneath the surface are these seeds of possibility, waiting for the right conditions...
Ken Robinson led the British government’s 1998 advisory committee on
creative and cultural education, an inquiry into the significance of
creativity in the educational system and the economy. In 2003 he was
knighted for his achievements. In a TED talk
on US education, he likened the blossoming desert to what can happen
for students and teachers when conditions are right. He described a
successful educational program in Los Angeles where teachers receive
strong support and students have a rich curriculum and interesting
activities in the school and community. It was called "alternative,” he
said, and if that type of opportunity were available to all, there’d be
no need for "alternatives.”
need diversity, curiosity-which he calls the engine of achievement-and
creativity, and he said that means they need humanities, arts and
physical education, not just standardization and testing. Teaching is a
creative profession, he said, and great teachers are mentors who also
stimulate, provoke and engage. He believes our culture has tended to
de-professionalize teaching. The real role of educational leaders is not
command and control, he said, but "climate control-creating a climate
of possibility” where learners blossom.
Listen to his recent talk on "How to Change Education from the Ground Up."
we are to have a revolution in education,” Sir Robinson said "it
probably won’t come from the top down but from the bottom up.”
A teacher named Pete Reilly wrote an engaging piece about Robinson’s talk, with pictures, in his blog Ed Tech Journeys.
1.100 Year Bloom in Death Valley - 2005, www.wjla.com
2. Gocalifornia.about.com, National Park Service