#arts education #obituary
In these days it became known that Sir Ken Robinson, 70-years old passed away after short illnes
On several occasions I had the opportunity to work with him. During a project of the Council of Europe”Culture, Creativity and Youth” I could experience his structured and enjoyable approach to all education issues. His often screamingly funny and nevertheless clever appearances at conferences on arts education produced a lot of insights and made us feel strong together.
As a professor of arts education at Warwick University, he was commissioned in the 1990s by the Blair government to write the report “All Our Futures” to revolutionize the British school system. Art and culture as central topics of school development should lead to a comprehensive personal development of the students and thus build the basis for the successful transition of the British economy from the old to the new industries (cultural and creative industries).
It happened in a different way. Ken retired to Los Angeles and became a senior advisor to the Getty Museum. With this backbone he became one of the most inspiring agitators for art education. With his media appearances, he propagated creativity as the major resource for the further development of the national school systems into the 21st century. A series of opposing TED lectures including, sometimes uncritically excited groups, testify his impressive capability to convince audiences up to today.
In the last years he became silent, probably also because the severe bak-lash in education policy, many countries are confronted with.
Ken represented an attitude – at least for me – which was about making young people curious towards the world and willing to co-create it. And he knew how to convey this attitude to people in a “contagious” way, when made people want to enjoy it; a quality that we need today more than ever.
I will keep Ken Robinson in good memory motivating and inspiring my efforts in a quite similar direction.