The Element draws on the stories of a wide range of people: Paul McCartney; The Simpsons creator Matt Groening; Meg Ryan; Gillian Lynne, who choreographed the Broadway productions of Cats and The Phantom of the Opera; journalist Arianna Huffington; renowned physicist Richard Feynman; and many others, including business leaders and athletes. It explores the components of this new paradigm: the diversity of intelligence, the power of imagination and creativity, and the importance of commitment to our own capabilities.
With a wry sense of humor, Ken Robinson looks at the conditions that enable us to find ourselves in the Element and those that stifle that possibility. He shows that age and occupation are no barrier and that once we have found our path, we can help others do so as well. The Element shows the vital need to enhance creativity and innovation by thinking differently about human resources and imagination. It is an essential strategy for transforming education, business, and communities to meet the challenges of living and succeeding in the 21st century.
©2008 Ken Robinson, Ph.D; (P)2009 Tantor
"Motivating and persuasive, this entertaining and inspiring book will appeal to a wide audience." (Publishers Weekly)
"The Element offers life-altering insights about the discovery of your true best self." (Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
I am a teacher. Last year, I attended the funeral of a student. At what point do we stop cramming test prep and provide the fertile ground necessary for kids (and teachers) to do what they love and to thrive? It does no good to strive to meet the expectations of others when their expectations are miles off the mark.
Poetry, music, drama, art, discovering the beauty of science, the mind of the cartoonist, the depths and the universality of math. There's so much joy in being alive and in learning.
It's vital to bring that to life in class.
Thank you for this book, Ken Robinson.
the element has earned itself a place in my top 10 book list. when we focus on teachers teaching and students learning great things we can change the disaster of government run schooling with education.
this is a reminder for everyone who thinks they can't that they can. all you have to do is be open to what that Can is and be willing to go out and find it
An eclectic reader of many genres
Robinson uses humor and excellent stories to illustrate how society's definition intelligence has been somewhat misguided and how many have been educated away from their greatest strengths, strengths that can make a difference in our success and happiness.His ideas are well worth listening to for they can make a difference in how we approach a time when many jobs have been outsourced and we are trying to find our way in a new economy. They are especially important for us to introduce to our young people and educators who could benefit from these ideas greatly.
Robinson uses illustrations that resonated with me of people who experienced being in their element, what some call "being in the zone." And of how today's society would often pigeon-hole these people as problematic or having ADHD. I especially loved the story of the young girl who was having trouble at school, and it was recommended that her mother have her tested to see what could be done to fix her. She found an excellent doctor who interviewed her and recognized that her talents lay in dance. He recommended enrolling her in a dance class. This girl was Gillian Lynne who went on to become a brilliant Broadway choreographer.
There was not one scene or story in the book that stood out most. Rather, it was the overall validation through his stories and ideas that various kinds of intelligence are equally important.
Robinson's humor is engaging. I laughed out loud. I have given copies this audio book as well as the hard copy of it to many people. I think that his ideas that creativity must be honored and encouraged are vital. Einstein once said that imagination was more important than knowledge. Creativity and imagination, which are necessary to all fields of human endeavor, cannot be measured on a standardized test and do not always occur in only the subjects and jobs we have traditionally valued as most important.
I listened to this book (as well as to his TED Talk and other videos) and I read his book. (After listening, I had to have the book so that I could write in it and capture quotes.) However, listening to him is the best! His humor and delivery make this audiobook extremely enjoyable and bring his ideas to life.
This is a book I am ready to start handing out at airports, as it eloquently articulates some of the fundamental socioeconomic issues of the Western World (particularly the US) due to our failing school system. He explains the problem is systemic — the entire schema of teaching in a top-down, industrialized, mass-production model that is so focused on teaching content is outmoded and irrelevant for today's economy, never mind tomorrow's. Educating kids in a way that is relevant and effective for them requires us to teach to the individual, not a standardized test — teaching them how to become life learners in areas that play to their strengths is the key.
The fact that he reads this himself adds a great deal, as he is a great speaker. Also hilarious.
Yes. I've already listened to it twice. There are so many interesting stories and ideas presented. Once was not enough. I'll revisit this book often for inspiration and ideas.
I appreciated the all the stories. Reading about persons that initially don't meet society's expections or molds and yet persevere & succeed in finding passion in their lives...very hopeful.
Affirmed my philosophy of the importance of an open mind - limitless possiblilites and new approaches to learning.
Engaging. Relevant. Change.
Very interesting book. It really makes you think about how we approach education in our nation as well as the pursuit of the things that really energize us and what we're passionate about. The reader is the author and it is very well read. I recomment it.
You should follow your passions and encourage others to do the same.
education paradigm shift
The book is full of inspirational stories about people who have found themselves, or found their
I'm dying to listen to
I think the opening story about Gillian Lynne, choreographer of Cats and Phantom of the Opera, set the tone perfectly for the rest of the book. I dare you to read that story without coming to tears.
Often authors shouldn't narrate their own books, but Ken Robinson, whom I first discovered through a TED Talk, lends a dynamism to his work that a third-party narrator probably wouldn't be able to capture.
Sir Ken Robinson verbally walks through experiences. He is very adept at sharing discoveries in a way that you feel you are there.
As you hear about different people and how they discover their element you can't help but think that you might have a higher purpose that maybe you thought. It also helps to rethink your current situation and that life isn't over till it's over.
I have not listened to any other books by Sir Ken Robinson yet but I intend on listening to his follow up book Out of Our Minds.
I listened to this book over several days as time allowed.
"Highly engaging and inspiring"
I really enjoyed hearing the writer of the book express his intention behind the words with his voice.
The concepts of this book are uplifting and applicable to all people. The example after example of individuals from a totally diverse range of backgrounds and circumstances who have found their element, is compelling and persuasive.
"An Excellent Book!"
I'm a school teacher and this book is speaking my language, not only because I'm a school teacher, but also because I am a mother of two wonderful teenage girls.
I recognize and agree wholeheartedly with Sit Kan Robinson's message...
"Inspiring and thought provoking"
I'm a huge fan of Sir Ken Robinson anyway, so this book was as fantastic as I'd hoped. I love the added humour in the dry wit style he's famous for, which only enhanced my enjoyment of the book.
This book is also much better heard than read in my opinion.
Yes, people can learn from it.
There are some very good strong points in this book referring education that everyone should think about.
It has made me think.
I found that listening to The Element was much more engaging than if I would have read it myself, because Sir Ken Robinson has such a great oratory gift.
"The plain truth"
Wow sir ken does it again. A brilliant simple yet deep appraisal of our himan need to understand and live in purpose.
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