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Malline:Infobox person Sir Ken Robinson (born 4 March 1950) is an author, speaker, and international advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education, and arts bodies. He was Director of The Arts in Schools Project (1985–89), Professor of Arts Education at the University of Warwick (1989–2001), and was knighted in 2003 for services to education.

Originally from a working-class Liverpool family, Robinson now lives in Los Angeles with his wife Marie-Therese and children James and Kate.

Early life and education[muokkaa]

Born in Liverpool to James and Ethel Robinson, Robinson is one of seven children from a working-class background. After an industrial accident, his father became quadriplegic. Robinson contracted polio at age four. He attended Liverpool Collegiate School (1961–1963), Wade Deacon Grammar School, Cheshire (1963–1968). He then studied English and drama (B.Ed.) at University of Leeds (1968–1972) and completed a PhD in 1981 at the University of London, researching drama and theatre in education.


From 1985-89, Robinson was Director of The Arts in Schools Project, an initiative to develop the arts education throughout England and Wales. The project worked with over 2,000 teachers, artists, and administrators in a network of over 300 initiatives and influenced the formulation of the National Curriculum in England. During this period, Robinson chaired Artswork, the UK’s national youth arts development agency, and worked as an advisor to the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

He was Professor of Arts Education at the University of Warwick (1989–2001), serving four years as Chair of the Department of Arts Education, and as Chair of Research Development within the Faculty of Education. He has also held the posts of Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Warwick Institute for Education, Program Director of the MA in Arts Education and Cultural Studies, and Director of the Unit for Research in Education, Culture, and the Arts (URECA). Robinson is now Professor Emeritus at University of Warwick.[1] In 1998, he led a UK commission on creativity, education, and the economy and his report, All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture, and Education was influential. The Times said of it: "This report raises some of the most important issues facing business in the 21st century. It should have every CEO and human resources director thumping the table and demanding action".

He helped create a strategy for creative and economic development as part of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, publishing Unlocking Creativity, a plan implemented across the region, and mentored the Oklahoma Creativity Project. In 1998, he chaired the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education.[2]

In June 2003, Robinson was knighted for his achievements in creativity, education, and the arts.[1] A popular speaker at TED conferences, Robinson has given two presentations on the role of creativity in education, viewed by millions.[3][4] In 2005, Robinson was named as one of Principal Voices (A Time Magazine, Fortune, CNN joint initiative).[1] In 2010, the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) animated one of Robinson's speeches about changing "education paradigms". The video was viewed nearly half a million times in its first week on YouTube.


Learning Through Drama: Report of The Schools Council Drama Teaching (1977) was the result of a three-year national development project for the UK Schools Council. Robinson was principal author of The Arts in Schools: Principles, Practice, and Provision (1982), now a key text on arts and education internationally. He edited The Arts and Higher Education, (1984), co-wrote The Arts in Further Education (1986), Arts Education in Europe, and Facing the Future: The Arts and Education in Hong Kong,.

Robinson's 2001 book, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (Wiley-Capstone), was described by Director magazine as "a truly mind-opening analysis of why we don’t get the best out of people at a time of punishing change." John Cleese said of it: ‘Ken Robinson writes brilliantly about the different ways in which creativity is undervalued and ignored in Western culture and especially in our educational systems.’Malline:Citation needed The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, was published in January 2009 by Penguin. The element refers to the experience of personal talent meeting personal passion. He argues that in this encounter, we feel most ourselves, most inspired, and achieve to our highest level. The book draws on the stories of creative artists such as Paul McCartney, 'Simpsons' creator Matt Groening, Meg Ryan, and physicist Richard Feynman to investigate this paradigm of success.


  • 1977 Learning Through Drama: Report of The Schools Council Drama Teaching Project with Lynn McGregor and Maggie Tate. UCL. Heinemann. ISBN 0435185659
  • 1980 Exploring Theatre and Education Heinmann ISBN 0435187813
  • 1982 The Arts in Schools: Principles, Practice, and Provision,. Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. ISBN 0903319233
  • 1984 The Arts and Higher Education. (editor with Christopher Ball). Gulbenkian and the Leverhulme Trust ISBN 0900868899
  • 1986 The Arts in Further Education. British Department of Education and Science.
  • 1998 Facing the Future: The Arts and Education in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Arts Development Council ASIN B002MXG93U
  • 1998 All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture, and Education (The Robinson Report)[5]
  • 2001 Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative. Capstone. ISBN 1907312471[6]
  • 2009 The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (with Lour Aronica). Viking. ISBN 067002047




External links[muokkaa]


  1. 1,0 1,1 1,2 Principal Voices Biog
  2. Oklahoma Creativity Project
  3. TED Profile
  4. YouTube TED talk Do Schools Kill Creativity?
  5. All Our Futures. 1998 Report.
  6. Out of Our Minds. Capstone Publishing
  7. 7,0 7,1 7,2 Robinson awards Benjamin Franklin Medal