TED Conversations

Sarah Shewey

CEO/Founder, Happily


This conversation is closed.

How can we empower kids to reshape the education system? *A TEDActive Education Project Question*


The TEDActive Education Project will explore how children can make an impact on the education system. We hope to come out of this project with fresh ideas for ways kids can start an education revolution.

At TEDActive2011 in Palm Springs, an amazing group of individuals came together as a group to come up with a simple micro-action solution for empowering kids to be a part of the education reform conversations. After a quick 36 hour period of time, the team made a website that allows students to upload videos of their ideas on education reform.

You can empower a student to share their voice at http://elev8ed.org.

Also, please share your own ideas here, or by starting a new conversation tagged with TEDActiveEDU so we can all follow.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Apr 13 2011: The education system,Or rather the method of teaching used right now in schools is ,in my opinion,near flawless it's the subjects that need to be changed.
    Hypothetically lets say as an 8 year old you wanted to become a vet,you end up becoming a failed writer,why?
    Because at 8 you where and are not given the option to study veterinary studies.You're given the "option" of studying poetry and all the other non-nonsensical ,arbitrary,banal things that come with it.
    Having a method like this dis-interest's those its directed at,it ultimately leads to dissatisfaction with school.
    What i propose is something rather like Ireland's way of schooling ,But with -again- changes to it,the change being offering them the samples and choices at an earlier age then that of secondary school level students ,13-15.
    Offer the flowers that are growing minds samples of certain courses,have the teachers etc. bring up main points which the teacher themselves find interesting about X topic and which the teacher themselves think the students might find interesting,So as to provoke a natural reaction of curiosity.
    If they like X subject they may continue it,if not they discontinue it and take a course they did like.
    The hope being that they end up with a subject that they have a deep love of and learn and study it not out of legislative compulsion but out of dopamine/seratonin fueled enjoyment.
    While yes their are easier ways to engage students in school they still do not fulfill a vital element.An actual yearning for an education.Presenting students with complex games which are enjoyable and at the same time teach students does not provoke this,neither does music etc.,it provokes a liking for the music/game etc itself.Which,from my point of view,is not the aim.
    Perhaps a combination of both,The students still go through the trial & error stage of choosing which subjects to pick and therefore have a natural interest in X but with the addition of games to it then becomes more rooted /seeded.
    • Apr 13 2011: You make wonderfully valid and thought out points that i whole-heartedly agree with, after your first sentence. The teaching style is completely flawed. The teachers don't engage students, classes are far too large, and students aren't brought into the less. Dictating notes off a power point is a good way to pass a test, but is a horrendous way to learn. Students are put in a competitive situation where the worst thing you could ever be is be wrong. Well, that's wrong, because its that type of stigma that prevents students from learning. Students need to learn why things are the way they are, not what happened. Children are not computers, you do not simply input data into their internal database. Students need teachers that will bring them into the material, so they can discover their interests. Not many people can know what they have a passion for simply by skimming the surface of a topic.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.