We need to change the educational system: Anne Mieke Eggenkamp at TEDxAmsterdamWomen 2013

We need to change the educational system: Anne Mieke Eggenkamp at TEDxAmsterdamWomen 2013

December 13, 2019 11 By Ronny Jaskolski


Translator: Hoa Pham
Reviewer: Mirjana Čutura Sometimes in life, you have to reinvent yourself, to make a tough decision, get out of your rhythm, shift your focus, get rid of all the things
that are not working anymore. I am Anne Mieke Eggenkamp, and I’m the former chair
of Design Academy Eindhoven. And I loved doing that work
for several years. But in a process of reorganisation, in an effort to change
the things for the better, all of a sudden, to my great surprise, all the arrows pointed at me. No trust. A lot of negativity,
anger and frustration. From my point of view, a very unhealthy, unprofessional and even unfair situation. Do you know what I did? Very simple. But very painful. I resigned. I didn’t want to fight. I didn’t want to lose energy
on all the wrong things. I wanted to get rid
of all the weight I was carrying. I had to create new space for myself, without judgement, with trust, honesty and clarity. But these all had
a quite dramatic impact on me. I had no words left. I couldn’t find the right words anymore. I literally stopped talking; my voice blocked. That was a very pivotal moment in my life
because that never happened before. But being a creative person,
this is how I coped with it. I could only make drawings, very simple, very colorful
and very soft, very fragile. This one was about doubt. This one was dare, red and complicated. This one was a very little circle;
that was the one of respect, and it was so much fun to do. And the words did return –
less words, but more to say. And finding my way in life again, I really discovered
my true voice and my strength, and the hunger to learn
and the drive to make things happen. My passion is creativity in education. I’m interested in how people learn, what skills they have
and how they use them. And my own curiosity and imagination
always drives me to ask questions. I think questions
are the start of everything. So how do you discover
what you’re good at? We had a couple of fantastic
examples, I think, today. Why is education always focusing
on what you’re not good at? And one of my favourite questions, ‘When are you smart,
and when are you creative?’ Current education is focusing too much
on the left brain side, too much on the left-brain
knowledge and skills. So what is the left brain? The left brain is the reason;
it’s the analytical side of our head. It’s linear, and the left brain
is thinking in words. If this side of the brain is tested and rated very positive, you know what? Then you’re labelled as being ‘smart’. Instead of the right brain – the right-brain abilities like intuition, holistic thinking, emotion and thinking in images. Well, this side of the brain
is not appreciated the same as the other side of the brain. It’s rated on a much lower level. And in my opinion,
that is very, very underestimated. And I think we should focus much more
on the right-brain abilities. We will need them to survive
in the 21st century. Somehow we need to get
a better balance in our brain. We have to discover to use
our whole brain. So we have to focus on talent, on what you’re good at,
on your personal energy. Human capital is the most important matter for personal and economic growth. If you discover your capital, you can create more impact in the world. Because current education on all levels is not responding to the demands
and the needs of the 21st century. To find solutions for all kinds
of complex challenges in society, we have to become
more intelligent about creativity and develop new skills and knowledge. All companies right now are looking for
different thinkers and makers. We have to learn how to explore,
evolve and exploit our talent. That means we have to learn
with our heart, think with your hands
and use your whole brain. Talent-oriented education
is what I’m talking about. So next question – if we need
all those creative people, what will the school
of the future look like? There we go. First of all, in my vision,
it looks like this: make the environment and the content
of education more human-centred. It is about people. It’s all about the diversity of people. So the challenge is to create
a new learning environment around people, with people, for people. Second, we have to create
a completely new ecosystem of learning, and that is a combination of, let’s say,
a building where you meet each other; life, where you learn to cooperate,
learn to collaborate. [Third], we have a world
outside of the building. That’s the real world, that’s life,
that’s where you can practise. That’s where you can experience
how things work in reality. And the last one, a very important one –
that’s the virtual world. We can find so much knowledge out there, and we should incorporate it
in a new system of learning. This is the classroom of the future. The classroom is daily life itself. The school of the future is a workshop where you can discover
your maker instinct, where you can build, where you can discover
how much fun it is to make things. The school of the future is a forest. We need to engage with nature much more. To master your senses,
go out, listen and smell. The school of the future, of course – and Jonathan this one is for you –
a vegetable garden. It’s very important to see things grow
and to discover how nice it is to do that and the taste of it. The school of the future is a kitchen, where you can experiment,
where you can fail and where you discover
that you need to be flexible to come up with a fantastic meal. The school of the future is a lab, where you can enjoy space and where you can wonder
and become really critical. A new scenery to discover and to exercise and to learn to solve problems. The last one is, of course,
a music studio – we need that. To train. It’s about effort and perseverance. Keep going on what you’re good at,
get gritty in that. When I tell people about my vision –
and I did that to Sylvana – everyone says, ‘Ah, can I go too?’ No matter what age they are, everyone can learn, just not on the same day
and not in the same way. Five years from now, I see that a learning environment is more than a place
or a building with four walls. The future of education
should be a blend – a blend of creativity, technology,
science and entrepreneurship, and with the emphasis on the senses. Shifting the focus in education to have a scenery
where you can really learn – that’s what education should be. Shouldn’t it? (Audience) Yes! Thank you. (Cheering) (Applause) Thank you. (Applause)