A trailer for Alphabet, a documentary on fear and love in education that seems to polarize

This is a trailer for Alphabet, a documentary by Erwin Wagenhofer.

Some info:

We’re living in times of sweeping changes, crises and disorientation. The financial system, energy, climate change: All the problems in these areas have one thing in common, they were created by humans. Many were created by humans educated at the world’s best universities and institutions. Is this mess a side effect of their education, or the underlying attitudes and approach? Is the main problem the structure of our brains, and therefore the structure of our outdated thinking? We will never find the courage and inspiration to solve tomorrow’s problems by applying yesterday’s solutions! Nowhere else is that fact so obvious as in our educational system, where the greatest opportunities and talents are eradicated by improper methods and forcing everyone into standardized molds. Rather than standardization and economic utility, creativity, diversity and sustainability must be the focus of new educational institutions! In the future, education must abandon yesterday’s systematic preaching from on high and instead foreground the realization of potential and enriching students through diversity and variety. And lastly: Who will start this process if we don’t?!

From what I’ve seen and read yet, I do think the movie polarizes. Comparing the squeaky clean McKinsey and the measuring drift of Schleicher with the friendly, funny Ken Robinson and alike is quite clear in bias.

The thing is that both extremes have wrong elements and benefits. With Robinson I plea for the importance of arts (but actually the OECD does too) but the idea of school killing creativity is plainly wrong (maybe we are not stimulating creativity enough, but that is a different statement) and multiple intelligences are a problem too. And while indeed standardization and common core have issues for sure, evidence based education and data can play an important role in education besides putting everybody in a same mold.

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