Schools Training

5 TED talks to make you a better student

23 MAY 2014

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TED Talks aren’t just for leaders in their fields or young professionals. Students like you, too, can find a lot of value and inspiration in these presentations. Through these talks, you’ll be exposed to ideas with the potential to change the way you see or do things, and learn lessons that will stick with you way beyond school.

Here are some of our favourite talks from the TED community on education, learning, thinking ahead and so much more. You should also know that there are over 1,400 different Ted Talks to choose from, so if you like the presentations below, keep exploring their archives for more gems, including educational articles!

Maurice Ashley : Working Backwards To Solve Problems

Maurice Ashley knows a thing or two about problem-solving. As a chess grandmaster, he’s constantly facing extremely complex problems, with no clear solutions. Though the problems he’s tackling are fairly difficult, his approach is quite simple: Imagine the endgame you want, then work backwards until you are where you are now. This technique is called Retrograde Analysis, and it can be applied to anything, from chess to real life. Here’s an example: Imagine where you want to be someday. How did you there? By imagining a path from where you are now to where you want to be, it helps you develop a unique strategy to reach your goal.

Adora Svitak: What Adults Can Learn From Kids

In this provocative, eye-opening talk, child prodigy Adora Svitak encourages you not to lose touch with “childish” thinking. She argues that the childlike ability to dream big and be optimistic, even if it seems unpractical or naïve, will you allow to create innovative ideas that will change the world. Adults think much more logically than children, which isn’t necessarily a negative thing. During the creative process, however, we should all unleash our wild, unrestrained creativity and play with our ideas.

Ken Robinson: How To Escape Education’s Death Valley

In this thoughtful, funny presentation, Sir Ken Robinson discusses the three conditions that allow the human mind to flourish, then the ways in which the current education culture works against those principles. Sir Robinson wants us to escape education’s “death valley” and provides excellent ideas for us to do so. A very compelling TED Talk that contains excellent suggestions about education news and how our education system should be.

Colin Powell: Kids Need Structure

Colin Powell is the former U.S. Secretary of State. His message, in this heartfelt, personal talk, is that everyone, including teachers, parents, relatives, friends, etc, should contribute as much as they can to the education of young students, by supporting them and creating an environment in which their minds can flourish. Young students, in order to succeed, need passionate individuals around them who demonstrate to them the value of learning and thinking.

Ramsey Musallam: 3 Rules to Spark Learning

Ramsey Musallam is a chemistry teacher who faced a life-threatening condition that gave him a new perspective on education, school news and learning. The true role of the educator, he argues, is to cultivate curiosity. In a fun presentation, Musallam shares his 3 rules to spark imagination and learning, getting students excited about the way the world works.