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Rhetorical analysis of Ken Robinson’s video Changing Educational Paradigms

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Rhetorical analysis of Ken Robinson’s video Changing Educational Paradigms
Introduction
In the video, Ken Robinson a creativity expert talks about changing educational paradigms. He creates a link between the three troubling trends in the education system. These include the rising drop-out rates, the dwindling state in arts as well as the ADHD. The paper main aim is to conduct a rhetorical analysis of the video. A rhetorical analysis is mainly a form of criticism that examines the interaction of an author’s message to the audience. It focuses on the presentation strategies, the language used and the objective of the author’s message. It also examines whether the primary main of the message is achieved by gauging the different style used to present the message to the audience.
Ken Robinson uses rhetorical questions to engage the minds of the participants during the talk. For instance he asks, ‘how do we educate our children to take over the economy in the next couple of years?’ The main purpose of employing this language strategy is to ensure that the minds of the audience share the same thought with him and at the same time try to reason out the various solutions to the questions. The parents who are part of the audience are thus able to figure out what is needed in the education system to make their children able to take charge of the economy in the next few years. Moreover, the use of rhetoric questions also gives the speaker a moment to reorganize his mind to tackle the question in hand and allow active participation by the audience.

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It also creates a logos appeal relying on the Aristotle’s classification of persuasive tools. In this case, the logos appeal is to create persuasion through reasoning just like Ken Robinson is doing in the speech.
Ken also uses deliberate examples in his speech to emphasize his main theme of the speech. For instance, he talks about how during his era, they went to school performed well and got some job and compares it with the present day situation. He argues that the kids expect to pass through the same ‘past’ experience from their parent- a notion that according to Ken’s argument cannot be met in the 21st century. He deliberately uses examples to help the audience see the reality of educational matters and remind the stakeholders that it is time to be realistic about future education prospects of their children. The strategy is also important in creating a pathos appeal. For instance, in his example he makes sure that the stakeholders can connect their feeling in the old days when they completed school and secured a job with the modern education reality whereby a job is not a guarantee.
Moreover, Ken Robinson gives a historical preview of the current system of education and connects with the modern reality of the problems associated with it. The historical context is also another important aspect of rhetoric. Here, the speaker takes the audience through the main root of the problem, how it started and what caused it. He also gives his thought on the ADHD and gives his opinion on the same. He argues that the medical disorder is a controversial issue that he cannot side with as the major factor leading to discrepancies in education. He terms it as a ‘fictitious epidemic’. The historical information on the medical disorder also helps the audience relate the problem in the educational sector to the cause and how it has intensified over the years. The use of historical data helps the speaker to put his information into a time context helping the audience keep track of the problem from where it all started.
The use of humorous language by the speaker is another strategy employed to ensure the audience participation in the talk and also make the talk memorable. He uses words such as ‘fictitious pandemic’, ‘Don’t copy, because that is cheating’, ‘Most genius people were from the kindergarten’ and many more. The sense of humor helps to refresh the audiences mind and break the monotony in the speech. It also ensures that serious matters are presented in a lighter tone making them more easily understandable to the audience. He also creates a pathos appeal with the audience as they can laugh off his jokes. Furthermore, the author makes use of questions to ensure that the audience fully participates in the talk. By asking questions and receiving feedback, it shows that the audience is keenly following the speech and it encourages the speaker to keep on with the speech. It also shows the understanding of the content that the speaker is delivering. Questions also help create an emphasis of a given message.
Ken Robinson, therefore, achieves the main objective of his speech as the audience is fully engaged during the talk. He makes use of different language strategies creating different persuasive appeals as well as the use of verbal and non-verbal cues in the message delivery. His speech is, therefore, effective, and the mode of presentation is commendable.

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