Transforming education through imagination and creativity

Sir Ken Robinson on creative schools, transfo... 05:43

Is the culture of standardizing education alienating teachers and students?

Without a doubt, according to education reformer Sir Ken Robinson.

"There's a problem with the standards culture, which is, it sees teachers [as] kind of a delivery system and a branch of FedEx, dropping off the standards. Teachers are there to engage and motivate and inspire people. And great teachers do that," Robinson said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning."

In his new book, "Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education," he advocates for personalized processes of education for children.

"People sometimes ask me what my theory is. Well, I say it's not a theory. It's actually what works," Robinson said. "It depends how you think of teaching. If you think of teaching as having people just sitting in rows all the time and talk to them, it's very hard to control them on that basis, but if you engage children's imaginations, their curiosity, you've got them working in teams, you've got them doing practical project work, it's a very different dynamic in schools."

His TED Talk, "How Schools Kill Creativity," is the most watched presentation with more than 32 million views. Robinson, who said governments are now looking at education strategies like defense strategies, began meeting with governments and school systems to discuss reform decades ago.

"I've never blamed teachers or schools. I've worked with teachers my whole life. It's a fantastic profession. Most teachers I know don't like this either. There is this deadly culture of standardizing that's being pushed on them politically," he said.

One of the schools Robinson writes about in his book is the Boston Arts Academy, an inner city school that focuses on the arts. According to the school, about 94 percent of their graduates are accepted to college each year.

"They have a broad curriculum, because children have very different talents, and it's important that they should do math and languages and so on. But music and theater and dance are just as important for talents in engaging kids," Robinson said. "It's not just about that. It's about a greater approach to science. It's a broad curriculum and they have flexibility in the way they teach individuals."

Robinson also recommends that parents partner with schools, since they know their kids better than anyone else.