6 TEDxTalks to change education

Why don’t traditional schools foster innovative thinking? Do kids leave school equipped with the passion for knowledge, penchant for teamwork, and creative energy needed to face the hefty challenges ahead? These 6 TEDxTalks tackle these questions and suggest some clever changes.

Play, passion, purpose: Tony Wagner at TEDxNYED

Tony Wagner outlines how an overemphasis on individual achievement, hyper-specialization, and an aversion to risk have stymied inventiveness and describes what teachers and parents can do to sow the seeds of creativity.

Old technology for a new education: Neil D’Souza at TEDxAmsterdamED

How can students prepare for a world where every job requires basic math and science ability as well as the skills to navigate a computer, when their teachers don’t have the equipment, nor knowledge to instruct them effectively? Engineer Neil D’Souza has a solution: inexpensive, easy to hack, computers built for learning with access to self-learning online teaching tools — and he’s already bringing them to schools in need.

No more easy answers: Adrián Paenza at TEDxJoven@RiodelaPlata

At school, you’re guaranteed clean, concrete answers to the problems you’re given. Real life isn’t so accommodating. Adrián Paenza exposes how schools privilege students with definite goals and the effects that has on society. (In Spanish with English subtitles)

Labels limit learning: James Nottingham at TEDxNorrkopingED

When a student is pegged as a certain kind of learner, that label often becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. James Nottingham presents a clever new way to grade each student against themselves to start measuring personal progress, not relative talent.

What Kindergarten should be: Doris Fromberg at TEDxMiamiUniversity

Even though children develop their imagination, their basic social skills, and even discipline during structured playtime, too many pre-schools can’t afford to take the time to play. Doris Fromberg breaks down the ideal goals for early childhood education and the institutional reforms it will take to get there.

Don’t let global conflict into the classroom: Jeff Cruzan, Ph.D. at TEDxMosesBrownSchool

It’s easy to get up in arms over the fear that your kids won’t be able to compete with students in other other countries. But, as Jeff Cruzan explains, the rush to shape curricula to boost comparative test scores can have disastrous effects — turning “teachers into instructors” and making science and math incredibly boring.