“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.” by Herbert Spencer

Ted Talks: Education Revolution recently aired on PBS with hosts Baratunde Thurston and Sara Ramirez that had a great line up of speakers. Below is an overview and highlights of the show and I encourage you to watch the show in full here on PBS (60 minutes) or if there is a specific clip you want to watch, they are below. I loved all the Ted Talks as I believe everything they discussed is what we need to do to improve our education system. You can also follow the conversation #TEDTalksPBS.

Sal Khan from Khan Academy

  • Believes there are two key leverage points for learning:
    • Mastery
    • Mindset
  • Believes we should allow students time to master skills based on their need verse a set pacing guide.
  • They need practice and authentic feedback
  • We need to do school differently – we are not in the industrial age but an information revolution age.

Greg Whiteley (no clip, if you want to view – you will need to watch the full video. If you watched – Most Likely to Succeed, Whiteley views are embedded as he was the director.)

  • Believes we need to not teach like we did in the industrial age but for today’s world. For example we should not lecture and have students regurgitate information but rather have student led discussions.
  • Believes teachers should work in teams and blend subjects and contents.
  • Believes students should work on projects verse rote skills.

Julie Lythcott-Haims Author of How to Raise an Adult

  • Believes we spend a lot of time on parents that aren’t involved enough in school and kids lives (and rightly so) that we forget about the other end of the spectrum of the parent that overprotective by micromanaging
  • Parents have the misconception that their student wont have a good future if they don’t (fill in the blank)  get good grades or get into a particular college or don’t get into the career.
  • We deprive our children learning about self efficacy when we do this
  •  Parents should be more concerned about building their skills and habits verse grades to help them become prepared for the real world.

Meshell NDegeocello musician who played in-between Ted Talks

Victor Rios Professor and Author of  Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys (New Perspectives in Crime, Deviance, and Law)

  • Grew up in poverty and incarcerated three times by age 15 but a teacher changed his life by caring and tapped into his soul.
  • He believes there are three strategies teachers can use to help students:
    1. Get rid of our deficit perspective in education
    2. Value the stories that young people bring to school
    3. Provide resources to all students
  • Believes we should have restorative justice course in every school

Heather Courtney and Anayansi Prado co-directed a documentary film called The Unafraid, which follows the lives of undocumented students and the underground movement they are building.

Anna Deavere Smith

  • Goes across the country studying about why so many poor kids can’t make it through school and very often end up in jail.
  • She shares two young people’s stories from Baltimore, Maryland. She does this in a unique way by interviewing them and then acting it out word for word for the audience.

Geeta Gandbhir and Perri Peltz shared a short film on how unconscious bias can sometimes sneak up on us.

Nadia Lopez, Principal and Ted Talk: Why open a school? To close a prison 

  • Her goal was to open a school, to close a prison in one of the toughest areas a Brooklyn, NY.
  • She was up against trying to find teachers that had empathy and want to teacher in this school that had lack of technology, low parental involvement and neighborhood gangs that recruit kids as early as 4th graders.
  • Her student population was 100% poverty, 86% below grade level in Math and Reading and 30% special needs.
  • If our students are not in the classrooms, how will they learn.

Sara Ramirez closed the show performing her song Rollercoaster.

 

 

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