Ever wonder Why Our Brains Are Wired To Love TED Talks? As writer Carmine Gallo points out in this Forbes article, it’s probably because when a familiar subject is woven into a new story, it is as if we are hearing the information for the first time. The goal of the storyteller, of course, is to fuel your inspiration and drive you to take action.
The TED Talks we love do all of that and more.
These stories are about issues that we deal with every day: there are tales about education and parenting, about creative approaches to teaching, and about tackling obstacles to achieve success. Each and every one of these talks has the ability to alter our outlooks as educators, leaders, and parents.
Check them out and see if you agree.
Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code
In the 1980s, psychologist Carol Dweck examined how bright fifth graders handled an assignment that was too difficult for them. She found that the girls with a higher IQ were quickly to give up. By contrast, bright boys found the difficult material to be a challenge; In fact, they found it energizing, and most of them redoubled their efforts to solve the problem. So what’s going on? Reshma explains.
TED Senior Fellow Cesar Harada, Citizen Science Teacher at the Harbour School in Hong Kong
Cesar Harada teaches “approachable science” by engaging his students’ imaginations in an industrial-sized mega-space classroom where kids get hands-on experience with everything from woodworking to chemistry. The idea, Cesar says, is to prepare our children to invent solutions for the future as citizen scientists, makers, and dreamers who care about the environment and people so that the students can actually do something about making changes in the future.
Emma Marris, Environmental Writer
Emma Marris encourages us to take our children out into nature — a term she doesn’t use to mean pristine and wild, but to refer to our own backyards, where she says our children should touch and tinker, so that one day they might love and protect the nature that surrounds them and is found anywhere life thrives.
Sir Ken Robinson, Author, Educator and Creativity Expert
Here, Robinson argues that creativity is as important as literacy — that dance and theatre should be considered as valuable to learn as math and science. He also asserts that most schools are educating our kids out of their creative capacities by stigmatizing mistakes and insisting that everything they do be correct. We couldn’t agree more, and encourage you to watch all of Sir Robinson’s talks.
Julie Lythcott-Haims, Academic, Author
This former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford University discusses helicopter parenting and micromanagers. These parenting styles place unrealistic demands on students, who grow up with their self-worth as defined by their grades and test scores. She stresses that too much hand-holding doesn’t allow children to develop self-efficacy, and suggests instead that we build a foundation of success based on love and…chores.
Ramsey Musallam, Educator
This chemistry teacher says that “student questions are the seeds of real learning, not some scripted curriculum that [gives] them tidbits of random information.” Ramsey says teachers must embrace curiosity and inquiry, encouraging more trial and error and thereby engaging student’s interests in learning something new — even in a subject that didn’t initially spark interest.
Cédric Villani, Mathematician
Villani asserts that mathematics is less about the abstract and numbers, and more about reasoning and imagination; it pushes us to explore realms not typically within our grasp. By using intense thought and logic, we can achieve solutions that test our willpower but give us huge satisfaction once results are achieved.
Thomas Suarez, Software Designer, 12-year-old
Twelve-year-old Thomas Suarez proves that a little ambition can lead to big results. A self-taught app developer who designs iPhone and iPad apps, Thomas started an app club at his school to help other kids learn this skill. He donates the profits he makes from creating educational apps to local educational foundations.
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