TED Conversations

Jeff Hoffart

Social Entrepreneur, ED-ucation Publishing


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Within learning communities, how do we educate youth about the ethos of TED and get them excited about contributing to the TEDx community?

While we organized our event at TEDxYouth@BIS this year, we found that we were marketing the idea of TED and TEDx to people who already understood and supported this ethos. We are looking for your ideas, resources, and other possible solutions to help educate and involve more youth in the TED and TEDx communities.


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  • Jun 26 2012: Myers-Briggs did a good job breaking doen personalities. There are of course other systems.
    I once worked with a man who had a poster in his office. Don't try to teach a pig to sing.
    It doesn't work , and it only irritates the pig. This was not one of my favorite people, and he showed
    some of these tendacies. Use judgment.
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      Jun 26 2012: I grew up staring at a poster of a cat hanging from a branch, with the caption: "Hang in there". I think this was a fairly common poster in classrooms, at least across Canada. I discussed this with a colleague of mine, and we talked about the implication of high school simply being an act of survival, just "hanging in there" day by day, until it was over.

      Although most of the teachers that I had growing up shared this mentality in their pedagogy and instructional approach, I was lucky enough to have a few teachers that pushed us to be active participants in class and in life, rather than simply "hanging in there". The common denominator between these educators is that they had high expectations of us, and believed in us.

      I do my best to model this same behavior with my students and my fellow teachers. I agree that we should not force TED on people, and "try to teach a pig to sing". But, if we believe in the pig, and encourage it to reach towards the expectation of dancing and acting, then perhaps it will choose to sing on its own.

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