Simon Rattle on Education

by Andy Polaine on December 7, 2010

in General

“We have been educating people for many years to be a certain type of person. We have been educating for a society that maybe is gone. We need more and more creative people in society. We need more people who will make things connect together, who will go in strange directions. We don’t only need good workers. Those days are over.” – Sir Simon Rattle.

The documentary feature, Rhythm Is It! was shown on German TV recently and was so inspiring that I rented the DVD on Lovefilm to watch it again. The film documents the journey of 250 children from inner-city schools in Berlin rehearsing for a dance performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Led by choreographer, Royston Maldoom and accompanied by the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

Both Royston Maldoom and Simon Rattle have excellent insights into the psyche of young people and learning. The film shows how Royston, in particular, isn’t just teaching dance, but really teaching these schoolchildren to discover themselves. I’m aware that all of this sounds like utter clichés, but I urge you to watch the film for yourself. It was one of the most inspiring and moving documentaries I have seen in a long while.

(The version I have found the online trailer for and the DVD I rented has German subtitles for the English parts and the rest is in German, but actually most of it is in English.)

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