Craig Fielke – Principal

On Friday, 21 August the world lost one of the most well-known education thinkers, Sir Ken Robinson, who died at the age of 70 after a battle with cancer. Amongst many reflections, his life was celebrated in a tribute for The Washington Post as “a joyful beacon of hope, calling on us to celebrate and foster the creative human spirit”.

If you have not had the opportunity, it is worth spending a little time viewing two of his most influential TED Talks, ‘How to escape education’s death valley’ and ‘Do schools kill creativity?’ The later has become one of the most watched TED talks of all time, with more than 66 million views. Both orations continue to remain as relevant today as they were when first shared.

A range of skills and disciplines have had to come to the fore as we have individually and collectively responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. One skill has been the ability to think and respond in a creative manner, especially as we have often found ourselves in uncharted waters.

Amongst other things, creativity can help you become a better problem solver, to see things from different perspectives and to deal with uncertainty. Studies have shown that creative people can better manage uncertainty as they can adapt their thinking to allow for the ebb and flow of the unknown.

One of the key capabilities that Cornerstone strategically and deliberately teaches in Middle School and then flows into aspects of learning in Senior School, is creativity. The SACE Board of SA also recognises and embeds creativity within subjects and elements of learning and assessment tasks.

Sir Ken Robinson was at the forefront of getting schools to recognise and understand the challenges old structures and paradigms of education present to enable effective and sustainable learning for the 21st century. He also made educators ponder more critically about thinking and learning, and in doing so enabled us to gain greater clarity about the what, why and how of education.

As stated in the Washington Post tribute, “His influence on the thinking of educators around the world is unparalleled in history and his legacy of critique about schools will have a lasting and profound impact for decades to come. Sir Ken’s loss offers everyone in the field of education an opportunity to honour him by reflecting and acting on his wisdom.”

Sir Ken’s wisdom has been one important source of the journey Cornerstone has and continues to take in providing an environment where learning is valuable, meaningful and purposeful.