Last week, we explored three talks presented by speaker, Ken Robinson. This week we had the opportunity to view additional thought-provoking presentations that Ken Robinson included on his “Top Ten List.” Ken’s recommendations are stimulating talks given by inspirational and world-changing educators and innovators. We dive into three of these videos in greater detail below.
Authored by: Jo Davis
Mae Jemison: astronaut, doctor, art collector, and dancer uses this TED talk to stress the importance of teaching the arts and sciences in conjunction. With a focus on the future, Jemison states that science education needs remodeling. Right away Mae Jemison introduces an idea that we could all learn from. She explains that the driving force behind research and science is curiosity, and curiosity is born of creativity. Creativity is of course sparked by and nourished by the arts; therefore, science and the arts are intertwined. This school of thought that keeps the arts and sciences separate is damaging to progress. She gives the example of the shuttle used to fly her to space and the Buntu statue she brought up with her were both products of human ingenuity and creativity. This is truly an invaluable way of perceiving the world and the things we learn. She even provides the following quote from Albert Einstein to support her view, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” The mysteries of the world we live in invoke thought that leads to evolution in both art and science, so naturally it makes sense for both subjects to be taught in a way that expresses their mutual relationship. Jemison goes on to further explain how arts and sciences are not so different but the main point she stresses is how one is not more important than the other. Art and science alike are vital in composing and bettering the outcome that is the condition of human life. This disparity between the education of science and art in schools is detrimental to the learning habits of future generations. If only one thing was to be taken away from Mae Jemison’s TED talk it is the fact that the arts and sciences are both key to progress and must be regarded and taught as equals.
Authored by: Lindsay Stewart
Alison Gopnik explores the decision-making and intelligence of babies. Alison seeks to answer why and how children and babies can learn so much so quickly. She suggests that it is due to the amount of time human beings spend being dependent on adults. Alison points out that the human species has the longest time for “learning” than any other species. In this “learning process,” babies and children are protected; this gives them time to learn and process all the information that their brains can handle. Alison states that babies are designed for learning; they are made for learning, and their brains are one of the most powerful computers. Once the children grow into adults, all of the things learned can then be put into practice.
Alison shows us how children at the age of four can effectively experiment and form hypotheses; often we think children are “just playing around” or “not paying attention,” when in reality, they are experimenting. In one instance, a four year old was able to experiment with four different hypotheses in less than two minutes. Why are adults not able to do this? Alison suggests it is because adults’ brains are like spotlights; they focus on one thing and block everything else out. Children, however, have brains like lanterns; they can analyze many different ideas from different places all at once. Children are unable to zero in on one idea, but the number of possible hypotheses is more numerable than an adults’.
Alison suggests that if we desire to become more open-minded and creative, then our goal is to become as children are. In this video, Alison’s research on the learning process in children and babies showed us that humans have a great capacity for learning, if we only stop and take the time to recognize it. Alison’s talk reveals that there is much to understand about the learning process, and there is much more to understand about our children. Overall, this video shows that it is vital to educate our children and give them all the tools necessary to become productive adults; it is our job to “water” their minds, and then watch them flourish in the garden called, “life.”
Authored by Secoria Burks
Teaching through videos allows students to learn at their own pace. They have the ability to stop, pause, fast forward, or rewind if they need to. As far as flipping a classroom is concerned, videos can be vital. Mr. Khan also proposes the idea that videos can make a classroom more human, by using videos as an at home teaching tool. Classroom time can be used for practice, collaboration, and assessment; not instruction. Assessment is one of the topics his online school is attempting to change as a whole. He believes that a one shot test isn’t very productive. Students are taught a section and at the end they have a test. The score on the test indicates what they understood or retained, but no matter what the score, teachers move on to the next section. The Khan Academy has created a system that prompts students to try until they master the skill.