Book Review: The Element by Ken Robinson

I have purchased this book the old-fashioned way. Went into a bookstore, started browsing, noticed it, and started reading. It opened so powerfully (which I won’t spoil for you), so I bought it. It certainly exceeded the high expectations I had for the book.

Ken Robinson is as good as a presenter as he is as a writer, so if you are on the fence, watch his TED talk first. Then you can make a decision.

The Element makes a simple two-step statement. That we need to find our passion to be truly happy and that the education system needs to be revamped in order to nurture our creativity. In that logic, Robinson adopts the same tone as Sal Khan and his One World Schoolhouse. Like Khan’s book, Robinson excels in explaining education’s role in finding one’s true passion. If you plan to read both books, start with the Element first – then read Khan for a detailed roadmap, and another excellent articulation of the vision.

The stories move you and they are all good. Toward the middle, I found myself questioning whether I read one story too many, but Robinson then pulled me right back into the book and showed me a connection. The education chapter alone is worth buying this book.

The book is entertaining – there are some good nuggets like Paul McCartney turned down by the school choir. “How good was that choir?” Those and other funny one-liners are neatly sprinkled throughout the book.

Robinson found his element in this book, and I do believe reading it will make you closer to finding yours.

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