Ministers draw the future of education
8th March 2017
“Draw a classroom in forty seconds!”
This was the most thrilling moment during my biggest presentation yet. A conference room filled with ministers of education from all over the world. At the Education World Forum (EWF) in London. All this to let them experience what the power of drawing can do for education. A small story about why we had to be there.
Most of the time we work for ‘adults’. Doing projects and giving courses. These courses are to share the power of drawing with as much people as possible. But the biggest challenge in teaching ‘adults’ to draw, is not the drawing itself. Drawing is all about making mistakes. In order to improve your idea. But ‘adults’ are scared to make mistakes.
How come we don’t dare to make mistakes anymore when we grow up? According to Pekka Peura, a teacher from Finland, this has to do with our education. You pass grades when you don’t make mistakes; the good old education system.
Pekka’s vision is to make education a safe place to experiment and make mistakes. The teacher helps you to reflect upon these mistakes in order to develop your skills. To learn how to learn. To develop yourself with skills for the future.
That is the moment we decided to make and give this inspirational lecture for educators. To show the power of drawing in education. Because children already draw. A lot. And they already like it. But we teach mostly writing and reading, drawing is stuck in the art department.
Our vision is to make drawing part of education. Not as a course but as a tool. To teach, think, present and remember. And the good news is, it only takes a pen and a piece of paper!
We saw this at our pilot at the International School in The Hague. The results were also presented during the Education World Forum. The teacher used this first drawing to explain to basics of democracy.
The class of nine year olds used drawing to think of democracy. Step by step. So first they had to think about all items of the democracy process:
They then used it to think of complex problems; Like ‘what if you would always be in the minority?’. First individually, then also as a group thinking process. “Maybe we should sometimes step up for a minority and vote for their plans?”: Like this young student visually presented:
During our 15 minutes TED-style presentation we also invited a guest, Zainab. We met her during a previous course at the Heathland School in Hounslow, London. This young woman explained to us that she wanted to become a politician. And that she liked drawing to explain her ideas. So we decided to kick-start her career and also draw her classroom. In two minutes she gave a booming speech as a user of the education system and as a future politician hopefully!
The stage at EWF was a great start for our mission, to make the power of drawing part of education. Thanks to Gavin Dykes and his team. Now continue forward. So if you also believe in the power of drawing, you work in education and you want to help this forward, please contact us/me. Maybe we can give the inspirational lecture to another room full of enthusiasts. Maybe we can do a visual brainstorm together. To think about the power of drawing & the future of education!
PS. The video of the presentation will be uploaded as soon as possible.
Written by Sven Lentz of Jongens van Detekeningen