Ken Robinson, author of the international bestseller The Element and the most viewed talk on khadictasmimou.cf, offers a practical guide to discovering your passions. Read Online Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life Sir Ken Robinson PhD epub download. Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life – Ken Robinson (free ebook epub/mobi).
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(Epub Kindle) Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life PDF For download this book click. The element: how finding your passion changes everything. / Ken Robinson with Lou Aronica. p. cm. Includes bibliographi. The element Download the element or read online here in PDF or EPUB. Also available from Ken Robinson is Finding Your Element. Finding.
First and foremost, my wife and partner, Terry. Its origins were in an off-the-cuff remark I made at a conference a few years ago. I had just told the Gillian Lynne story, which now opens chapter 1 of the book.
In passing, I said that one of these days I was going to write a book about stories like that. She asked me when did I have in mind. With the foundations laid so solidly, and the escape routes closed so firmly, I finally kept my word and got on with the book.
I travel a lot—too much, really—and producing a book like this needs time, energy, and collaboration. Lou was the ideal partner. He is seriously professional: sage, judicious, creative, and patient. He was the calm center of the project as I orbited the earth, sending notes, drafts, and second thoughts from airports and hotel rooms. Between us, we also managed to steer a successful course between the often comic conflicts of British and American English.
Thank you, Lou. My son, James, gave up his precious, final student summer to pore over archives, journals, and Internet sites, checking facts, dates, and ideas. Then he debated virtually every idea in the book with me until I was worn out.
Nancy Allen worked for several months on research issues under increasingly tight deadlines. Our assistant, Andrea Hanna, worked tirelessly to orchestrate the myriad moving parts in a project like this. As the book was taking shape, we were extremely fortunate to have the wise and creative counsel of our publisher, Kathryn Court, at Viking Penguin. Finally, I have to thank all of those whose stories illuminate this book.
Many of them spent precious hours, amid very busy lives, to talk freely and passionately about the experiences and ideas that lie at the heart of The Element. Many others sent me moving letters and e-mails. Their stories show that the issues in this book reach into the core of our lives. I thank all of them. An elementary school teacher was giving a drawing class to a group of sixyear-old children. In the drawing class she did.
For more than twenty minutes, the girl sat with her arms curled around her paper, totally absorbed in what she was doing. The teacher found this fascinating.
Eventually, she asked the girl what she was drawing. Most of us lose this confidence as we grow up. I believe passionately that we are all born with tremendous natural capacities, and that we lose touch with many of them as we spend more time in the world. I travel a great deal and work with people all around the world. I work with education systems, with corporations, and with not-for-profit organizations.
I meet concerned parents who are trying to help them but instead often steer them away from their true talents on the assumption that their kids have to follow conventional routes to success. I meet employers who are struggling to understand and make better use of the diverse talents of the people in their companies.
This book contains a wide range of stories about the creative journeys of very different people. Many of them were interviewed specifically for this book.
These people tell how they first came to recognize their unique talents and how they make a highly successful living from doing what they love. The moment of recognition. The evolution of their talents. The encouragement or discouragement of family, friends, and teachers. What made them forge ahead in the face of numerous obstacles. Their stories are not fairy tales, though. Their personal journeys have not been easy and straightforward.
But all of them regularly experience moments that feel like perfection.
Their stories are often fascinating. My aim in writing it is to offer a richer vision of human ability and creativity and of the benefits to us all of connecting properly with our individual talents and passions. This book is about issues that are of fundamental importance in our lives and in the lives of our children, our students, and the people we work with. I use the term the Element to describe the place where the things we love to do and the things we are good at come together.
I believe it is essential that each of us find his or her Element, not simply because it will make us more fulfilled but because, as the world evolves, the very future of our communities and institutions will depend on it. The world is changing faster than ever in our history.
Our best hope for the future is to develop a new paradigm of human capacity to meet a new era of human existence. We need to create environments—in our schools, in our workplaces, and in our public offices—where every person is inspired to grow creatively. We need to make sure that all people have the chance to do what they should be doing, to discover the Element in themselves and in their own way.
This book is a hymn to the breathtaking diversity of human talent and passion and to our extraordinary potential for growth and development. To make the best of ourselves and of each other, we urgently need to embrace a richer conception of human capacity. We need to embrace the Element. Her schoolwork was a disaster, at least as far as her teachers were concerned. She turned in assignments late, her handwriting was terrible, and she tested poorly. This came to a head when the school wrote to her parents.
The school thought that Gillian had a learning disorder of some sort and that it might be more appropriate for her to be in a school for children with special needs. All of this took place in the s. Gillian told me that she remembers being invited into a large oak-paneled room with leather-bound books on the shelves. Standing in the room next to a large desk was an imposing man in a tweed jacket. He took Gillian to the far end of the room and sat her down on a huge leather sofa.
This made Gillian extremely uneasy and confused. Even at this tender age, she knew that this man would have a significant role in her life. Given the way her mother answered the questions, it was possible that even she felt this way.
Maybe, Gillian thought, they were right. The man rose from his desk, walked to the sofa, and sat next to the little girl. I need to speak to your mother privately now. But as he was leaving the room, the psychologist leaned across his desk and turned on the radio.
Nearly immediately, Gillian was on her feet, moving around the room to the music. Just as they would have surely caught the expression of utter pleasure on her face. Take her to a dance school. She said her mother did exactly what the psychiatrist suggested. People who had to move to think. Eventually, she auditioned for the Royal Ballet School in London, and they accepted her. When that part of her career ended, she formed her own musical theater company and produced a series of highly successful shows in London and New York.
Eventually, she met Andrew Lloyd Webber and created with him some of the most successful musical theater productions in history, including Cats and The Phantom of the Opera.
Little Gillian, the girl with the high-risk future, became known to the world as Gillian Lynne, one of the most accomplished choreographers of our time, someone who has brought pleasure to millions and earned millions of dollars. This happened because someone looked deep into her eyes—someone who had seen children like her before and knew how to read the signs. Someone else might have put her on medication and told her to calm down.
She just needed to be who she really was. Unlike Gillian, Matt always did fine in school, getting decent grades and passing all of the important tests. However, he found himself tremendously bored. So I did as many paintings as I could—thirty paintings in a single class. I remember doing tons of painting until they finally realized I was using up so much paper that they stopped me. I thought that was more entertaining. John Lennon was also very important to me.
His books, In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works, are full of his own really crummy drawings but funny prose-poems and crazy stories. I went through a stage where I tried to imitate John Lennon. Robert Crumb was also a huge influence. They suggested that he go to college and find a more solid profession.
She actually saved them, I mean, for years. Her name is Elizabeth Hoover. I named a character on The Simpsons after her. This is all I really wanna do. For me it was always about playing and storytelling. I knew I was gonna be drawing cartoons forever. As we got older and more ambitious, we started making movies. It was great. It partly compensated for the fact that we felt very self-conscious socially. Instead of staying home on the weekend, we went out and made movies. I thought I was gonna be working at some lousy job, doing something that I hated.
I have no idea why I thought it was a tire warehouse. Matt moved to L. Weekly, and began to make a name for himself. During his pitch to Fox, he invented The Simpsons on the spot—he literally had no idea he was going to do this before he went into the meeting. The show evolved into a half-hour program and has been running on Fox every Sunday for nineteen years as of this writing.
In addition, it has generated movies, comic books, toys, and countless other merchandise. In other words, it is a pop culture empire. Not all successful people disliked school or did badly there. Paul was still a high school student, one with very good grades, when he walked into a University of Chicago lecture hall for the first time.
He only knew that it was close to his home. So easy was it to understand all this simple differential equation stuff that I suspected wrongly that I was missing out on some mysterious complexity. So if economics was made for me, it can be said that I too was made for economics. Never underestimate the vital importance of finding early in life the work that for you is play. This turns possible underachievers into happy warriors. What unites them is one undeniably powerful message: that each of them found high levels of achievement and personal satisfaction upon discovering the thing that they naturally do well and that also ignites their passions.
These epiphanies utterly changed their lives, giving them direction and purpose and sweeping them up in a way that nothing else had. They have discovered their Element—the place where the things you love to do and the things that you are good at come together. The Element is a different way of defining our potential.
It manifests itself differently in every person, but the components of the Element are universal. Lynne, Groening, and Samuelson have accomplished a great deal in their lives. But they are not alone in being capable of that. Why they are special is that they have found what they love to do and they are actually doing it.
They have found their Element. In my experience, most people have not. Finding your Element is essential to your well-being and ultimate success, and, by implication, to the health of our organizations and the effectiveness of our educational systems. I believe strongly that if we can each find our Element, we all have the potential for much higher achievement and fulfillment. I mean that we all have distinctive talents and passions that can inspire us to achieve far more than we may imagine.
It also offers us our best and perhaps our only promise for genuine and sustainable success in a very uncertain future. Being in our Element depends on finding our own distinctive talents and passions. One of the most important reasons is that most people have a very limited conception of their own natural capacities. This is true in several ways. The first limitation is in our understanding of the range of our capacities.
We are all born with extraordinary powers of imagination, intelligence, feeling, intuition, spirituality, and of physical and sensory awareness. For the most part, we use only a fraction of these powers, and some not at all. The second limitation is in our understanding of how all of these capacities relate to each other holistically.
For the most part, we think that our minds, our bodies, and our feelings and relationships with others operate independent of each other, like separate systems.
The third limitation is in our understanding of how much potential we have for growth and change. For the most part, people seem to think that life is linear, that our capacities decline as we grow older, and that opportunities we have missed are gone forever. This limited view of our own capacities can be compounded by our peer groups, by our culture, and by our own expectations of ourselves.
A major factor for everyone, though, is education. I was born in Liverpool, England, and in the s I went to a school there, the Liverpool Collegiate. One of the pupils there was Paul McCartney. Paul spent most of his time at the Liverpool Institute fooling around. Rather than studying intently when he got home, he devoted the majority of his hours out of school to listening to rock music and learning the guitar.
This turned out to be a smart choice for him, especially after he met John Lennon at a school fete in another part of the city.
They impressed each other and eventually decided to form a band with George Harrison and later Ringo Starr, called the Beatles. That was a very good idea. By the mids, both the Liverpool Collegiate and the Liverpool Institute had closed. The buildings stood empty and derelict.
Both have since been revived, in very different ways.
Developers turned my old school into luxury apartments—a huge change, since the Collegiate was never about luxury when I was there. The lead patron is Sir Paul McCartney. I had a role in the early development of LIPA, and on its tenth anniversary, the directors rewarded me with a Companionship of the school.
I went back to Liverpool to receive the award from Sir Paul at the annual commencement. His teachers thought they could convey an appreciation for music by making kids listen to crackling records of classical compositions. He found this just as boring as he found everything else at school. He told me he went through his entire education without anyone noticing that he had any musical talent at all.
He even applied to join the choir of Liverpool Cathedral and was turned down. How good was that choir? How good can a choir be? McCartney is not alone in having his talents overlooked in school. They said his voice would ruin their sound. Like the choir at the Liverpool Cathedral, the glee club had standards to uphold.
I asked John about his education. Apparently, he did very well at school but not at comedy, the thing that actually shaped his life. He said that he went all the way from kindergarten to Cambridge and none of his teachers noticed that he had any sense of humor at all.
Since then, quite a few people have decided he does. Of course, at least as many people do well in their schools and love what the education system has to offer. Obviously, some should be doing something else, and as far away from young minds as possible.
But there are plenty of good teachers and many brilliant ones. Most of us can look back to particular teachers who inspired us and changed our lives.
These teachers excelled and reached us, but they did this in spite of the basic culture and mindset of public education.
In many systems, the problems are getting worse. This is true just about everywhere. In some ways, the system was very different from the one we knew in the UK. We suppress it. Our policy is to draw a veil across the whole sorry episode.
We arrived in the United States four days before Independence Day, just in time to watch others revel in having thrown the British out of the country. In many ways, though, the education system in the United States is very similar to that in the United Kingdom, and in most other places in the world. Three features stand out in particular. First, there is the preoccupation with certain sorts of academic ability.
I know that academic ability is very important. But school systems tend to be preoccupied with certain sorts of critical analysis and reasoning, particularly with words and numbers. Important as those skills are, there is much more to human intelligence than that. The second feature is the hierarchy of subjects. At the top of the hierarchy are mathematics, science, and language skills. In the middle are the humanities. At the bottom are the arts. In fact, more and more schools are cutting the arts out of the curriculum altogether.
A huge high school might have only one fine arts teacher, and even elementary school children get very little time to simply paint and draw.
The third feature is the growing reliance on particular types of assessment. Children everywhere are under intense pressure to perform at higher and higher levels on a narrow range of standardized tests. Why are school systems like this? The reasons are cultural and historical. The point here is that most systems of mass education came into being relatively recently—in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
These systems were designed to meet the economic interests of those times—times that were dominated by the Industrial Revolution in Europe and America.
Math, science, and language skills were essential for jobs in the industrial economies. The result is that school systems everywhere inculcate us with a very narrow view of intelligence and capacity and overvalue particular sorts of talent and ability.
In doing so, they neglect others that are just as important, and they disregard the relationships between them in sustaining the vitality of our lives and communities.
This stratified, one-size-fits-all approach to education marginalizes all of those who do not take naturally to learning this way. Very few schools and even fewer school systems in the world teach dance every day as a formal part of their curricula, as they do with math.
For instance, Gillian Lynne told me that she did better at all of her subjects once she discovered dance. The current systems also put severe limits on how teachers teach and students learn. Yet our education systems increasingly encourage teachers to teach students in a uniform fashion.
To appreciate the implications of the epiphany stories told here, and indeed to seek out our own, we need to rethink radically our view of intelligence. These approaches to education are also stifling some of the most important capacities that young people now need to make their way in the increasingly demanding world of the twenty-first century—the powers of creative thinking.
Our systems of education put a high premium on knowing the single right answer to a question. When my son was four, his preschool put on a production of the Nativity story. During the show, there was a wonderful moment when three little boys came onstage as the Three Wise Men, carrying their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
I think the second boy lost his nerve a little and went out of sequence. The thirteenth apostle? The lost Book of Frank? This is not to suggest that being wrong is the same thing as being creative. Sometimes being wrong is just being wrong. They look at getting back to basics as a way of reinforcing the old Industrial Revolution-era hierarchy of subjects.
What is catastrophically wrong with this mode of thinking is that it severely underestimates human capacity. Navigation methods With the current EPUB format, there are three existing methods to navigate an ebook: Spine The spine represents the series of chapters from start to end, that a normal user would pass through in order to complete reading the book.
Spine navigation is controlled by Next and Previous buttons or in case of mobile, swiping left and right. The spine is extremely important as it is the most basic method of navigation supported by the simplest ebook reader software or device. In the EPUB format, the spine chapters are listed under the spine element in the package file. Any chapter existing inside the book must technically also exist inside the spine element.
Among the peculiarities, is that even if this chapter is not part of the spine navigation sequence, it must still be included as an entry in the spine but marked in a special way to avoid displaying it.
This case will be covered later. Same with books. The table of contents will list chapters, in a structured format, that you can refer to anytime for ease of access, and not necessarily all the chapters inside the book.
In fact, some books may lack a table of contents entirely and solely rely on spine navigation. Hyperlinks In some cases, you may want an invisible chapter — not in the spine nor the table of contents.
The only way to access such a chapter, is through a hyperlink from another chapter. Or a better example, an adventure gamebook link where you are jumping from chapter to chapter.
Table of contents? In the EPUB format, invisible chapters are not included in the table of contents obviously , but as mentioned previously should still be included in the spine. More on that in the next section. These numbers are rough estimates, and based on our experience with Kotobee. The most common case, is to include standard chapters in both the table of contents and the spine. That is what most authors would like to give: ease of access to their chapters. Not in spine When editing EPUB files manually, it is no doubt a peculiar case when a chapter is not to be in the spine.
This tells the reader that the chapter is not part of the spine navigation. But with all due respect to the IDPF, that in itself is a problem. EPUB standard by design was meant solely for reflowable chapters. Support for fixed-layout was then added later on.