The eighth annual Community Reading Project at Grand Valley will have readers discussing how passion and creativity can transform education.
The selection is Ken Robinson’s book, "The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything" (Penguin/Viking 2009), a New York Times best-seller.
Robinson calls “the element” the point when natural talent meets personal passion. His book draws on stories of celebrities like Paul McCartney, Meg Ryan, Broadway choreographer Gillian Lynne, business leaders, athletes and others to illustrate his point that when people arrive at the element, they feel most inspired and achieve at their highest levels.
Robinson is a world-renowned leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation; he often consults with governments and Fortune 500 companies. He played a central role in developing a strategy for economic development as part of the Northern Ireland peace process. Robinson served with other advisors to Singapore when that government developed a strategy to become the creative hub of Southeast Asia.
Knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2003, Robinson has received numerous global awards, including the Peabody Medal for contributions to the arts and culture, LEGO Prize for international achievement in education, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the Royal Society of Arts for outstanding contributions to cultural relations between the United Kingdom and the U.S.
Susan Mendoza, director of Undergraduate Research and Integrative Learning at Grand Valley, said Robinson’s book was selected for CRP because of how it speaks to transforming education to facilitate vision, passion and creativity.
Throughout the upcoming academic year, discussions, films and other events will focus on “The Element,” leading to a presentation by Robinson in March that will be open to the public and free. His presentation is part of the Meijer Lecture Series, sponsored by Grand Valley’s Frederik Meijer Honors College.
CRP is sponsored by Grand Valley’s Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, University Libraries and University Bookstore. For more information, click here.