Posts Tagged ‘ted’
Takaharu Tezuka is the architect who designed what TED calls the “world’s cutest kindergarten”. It was designed in 2007, but only took the world by YouTube and TED storm recently.
The kindergarten was not designed to be safe, soft, and spongy. Quite the contrary. Tezuka mentioned several times in his talk how kids learnt from falling down, getting scrapes, and bumping their heads. As for water play, he said:
… you should know that you are waterproof. You never melt in rain. So, children are supposed to be outside. So that is how we should treat them.
The kindergarten was also intentionally designed to be open and round. Why?
There is no boundary between inside and outside… there is no boundary between classrooms… When you put many children in a quiet box, some of them get really nervous. But in this kindergarten, there is no reason they get nervous. Because there is no boundary.
… if the boy in the corner doesn’t want to stay in the room, we let him go. He will come back eventually, because it’s a circle… they leave and come back.
Tezuka noticed kids liked running around and doing so freely. He noted how kids learnt best by doing and experiencing. So he designed a school around such behaviours.
Perhaps Tezuka’s point is this: There is much to be learnt about how to teach kids by watching and learning from them. It is less about curriculum and instruction, and more about how they think and act.
I do not know anyone who hates John Green. If they do, they probably are not worth knowing.
Green is an author, YouTuber, and amongst many other things, TED speaker.
After sharing his passion for maps, Green described himself as a student:
I was a really terrible student when I was a kid. My GPA was consistently in the low 2s.
And I think the reason that I was such a terrible student is that I felt like education was just a series of hurdles that had been erected before me, and I had to jump over in order to achieve adulthood. And I didn’t really want to jump over these hurdles, because they seemed completely arbitrary, so I often wouldn’t, and then people would threaten me, you know, they’d threaten me with this “going on [my] permanent record,” or “You’ll never get a good job.”
I didn’t want a good job! As far as I could tell at eleven or twelve years old, like, people with good jobs woke up very early in the morning, and the men who had good jobs, one of the first things they did was tie a strangulation item of clothing around their necks. They literally put nooses on themselves, and then they went off to their jobs, whatever they were. That’s not a recipe for a happy life.
He sounded like a student that most adults would write off early in life as a future also-ran or has-been. So how did he become so successful? Here are some choice quotes from his talk:
- I became a learner because I found myself in a community of learners.
- A lot of the learning that I did in high school wasn’t about what happened inside the classroom, it was about what happened outside of the classroom.
- It wasn’t a formal, organized learning process.
- The most interesting communities of learners that are growing up on the Internet right now are on YouTube.
- I know that YouTube comments have a very bad reputation in the world of the Internet, but in fact, if you go on comments for these channels, what you’ll find is people engaging the subject matter, asking difficult, complicated questions that are about the subject matter, and then other people answering those questions.
- As an adult, re-finding these communities has re-introduced me to a community of learners, and has encouraged me to continue to be a learner even in my adulthood.
- I’m here to tell you that these places exist, they still exist. They exist in corners of the Internet, where old men fear to tread.
Green reminds us that learning does not happen only in the classroom. In fact, it mostly happens outside of it. One of the most powerful learning communities and informal classrooms is YouTube.
Both Tezuka and Green made references to being outside. The benefit of being there means you do not have a teacher’s blind spots. Sometimes those blind spots land squarely on what teachers need to focus on: The learner and the processes of learning.
But these are the very places teachers need to go to recover their sight. Are they reacting, as Green put it, like old men and women fearing to tread?
Ben Ambridge debunked ten myths in psychology, at least four of which have plagued schooling and education for the longest time. These are:
- Learning styles
- Left and right-handedness of brains
- We use only 10% of our brains
- The Mozart effect of music
This 15-minute TED talk is worth every minute of dissonance or resonance it might create.
People who do not live under a rock know who Malala Yousafzai is, what she does, and why she was the joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize last year.
Not many have heard from her father. He is an extraordinary educator who has a lesson and reminder for educators and parents alike:
People ask me, what special is in my mentorship which has made Malala so bold and so courageous and so vocal and poised? I tell them, don’t ask me what I did. Ask me what I did not do. I did not clip her wings, and that’s all.
This TED talk goes beyond this juicy question.
The speaker, Carol Dweck, described a school where students were not given a fail grade if they did not not exhibit mastery. Instead, they were graded “not yet”.
This could lead to a deprogramming of wanting results, products, or grades now, and lead to a focus on resilience, effort, and self-motivation.
Dweck recommended a few strategies for promoting “yet” and dissuading “now”:
- Praise processes, not products or innate traits
- Reward effort, strategy, and progress
- Show paths for learner progress
- Talk to learners about growth mindsets
In this 2013 TED talk, this teacher shared three ways to initiate meaningful learning and to stop pseudo teaching.
Number one: Let curiosity drive learning. Not curricular demands, not technology, not even flipping.
Number two: Embrace the messy processes of learning.
Number three: Practice intense reflection.
Those were the Cliff notes. Watch the video to fill in the blanks. More importantly, listen to his stories that explain why he believes in these three ways.
Jennifer Magiera told a passionate and inspiring story at a recent TEDx talk.
Inspired by Sir Ken Robinson’s talks, she opted to release her students from the shackles of schooling and bring back their inner creative child.
When she gave them time and space to explore, they did nothing productive and instead asked for guidance and crutches. Magiera realized that she had created “rubric zombies”.
But she persisted and suggested four ways to revive the undead:
- Cultivate natural curiosity
- Outwit obstacles (see past problems)
- Play purposefully (being driven by student interests)
- Empower students and give them voice
Do yourself and your kids (actual kids and students) a favour. Delay the watching of the next episode of The Walking Dead and invest 18 minutes to remind yourself about what really matters.
edX CEO Anant Agarwal shared a statistic at the beginning of his TED talk. About 155,000 people took an edX course offered by MIT. This number was larger than the entire alumni of MIT in its 150 year history.
But MOOC reach was not what Agarwal wanted to highlight. Instead, he described how experiments in MOOCs were informing university faculty on:
- Going where the learner is at (online, mobile)
- Designing blended and flipped lessons
- Promoting active learning by designing interactive and self-paced lessons
- Providing instant feedback
- Leveraging on social learning
- Getting students to learn by encouraging them to teach
In other words, relevant and progressive pedagogy.