TED Talks are short speeches that spread new, innovative and thought-provoking ideas across a variety of fields. And for educators looking to transform the way they teach, develop and interact with students, TED’s education section is a one-stop shop for gleaning new strategies and insight.
Whether you’re searching for creative teaching strategies or new ways to motivate students to learn, there is a talk that is sure to inspire a new way of thinking. Below are 6 of our favorite educational talks, delivered by experts in various fields, that we recommend bookmarking.
1. Do schools kill creativity?
In the most-viewed TED Talk of all time, educationalist and creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson calls on the education system to nurture - rather than stifle - creativity. In the nearly 20-minute video, he proposed that creativity and literacy are equally important, and should be treated with the same status.
Creativity is an essential skill for today’s students. And if you agree that schools should keep kids creative, then this talk is a must-watch.
2. Creative ways to get kids to thrive in school
It can be challenging to teach struggling students who are often disruptive. But according to principal Olympia Della Flora, it’s the educator’s job to do more than teach them how to read and write. You also have to teach them how to manage their emotions.
In her talk, she shares creative tactics to help these kids do more than survive in school, such as stopping for brain breaks, singing songs and even doing yoga poses. Even better, the tactics shared can be done with existing budget and resources. The goal of the talk is to help educators foster a positive school climate to create a happy and safe place for kids.
3. How to teach kids to talk about taboo topics
Discussing taboo topics such as race, sexuality, religion and politics with kids can be difficult, and often uncomfortable. But with access to social media and other communication tools, it’s essential to teach them how to discuss these topics appropriately.
Educator Liz Kleinrock believes the best way to start solving social problems is to talk about them. And in her talk, she discusses how to navigate these complex topics and to create a safe space for kids to voice their concerns without fear or shame. Today, when taboo topics are part of our daily conversations, this talk is certainly one to add to your playlist.
4. How we can help the “forgotten middle” reach their full potential
Naturally, students who are seen as exceptional or problematic tend to receive the most attention from educators. But how can we ensure those in the middle, who are often overlooked, feel empowered and motivated to achieve big goals?
This talk, delivered by Danielle Moss, CEO of Oliver Scholars, provides valuable insight on how to set high expectations for your “regular” students. But that’s not all. She also touches on the tools, strategies and processes needed to guide and support these students on their quest for success. As a program leader, you can extract useful tips for bridging the gap for all students.
5. Grit: The power of passion and perseverance
In this powerful talk delivered by Angela Lee Duckworth, the psychologist and professor explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success. Grit is defined as the passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals. And according to Duckworth, it can be the differentiator between students who excel and those who struggle.
Watch this talk to understand how grit factors into academic achievement and future success. Plus, check out the following articles to learn how to build grit in your students:
Three Practical Ways to Develop Grit in Students
Got Grit? Four Ways to Build Grit in After School
6. Why schools should teach entrepreneurship
As the world around us evolves, it’s essential that educators rethink education. And in her talk, which has garnered over 11,000 views, young innovator Linda Zhang calls on educators to do just that. She believes the key to getting students excited about learning is to encourage them to build practical solutions for real-world problems through entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship fosters key skills that students can use in the classroom and in life, such as resilience, leadership, creativity and resourcefulness. To tap into your students’ inner entrepreneur, watch this TED Talk and then check out 6 Resources to Foster Entrepreneurial Thinking in Students.
These TED Talks are empowering and inspirational, and they stir up ideas and practices that can alter the way you teach - for the better. Browse over 200 talks about education and you can even check out TED-Ed to bring TED-style learning into your classroom or afterschool program.