TED Conversations

Sarah Shewey

CEO/Founder, Happily


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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.


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  • May 8 2011: One thing keeps popping up and so I would like to share this in the hope that it is actually useful. Some of you may have heard that in the east they talk about direct transmission of the dharma or enlightenment. They say that hearing fine theoreticalisations of 'the way' (whatever way that may be) is useless unless the source is enlightened.
    In Parma Itlay there are scientists working on mirror neurons (for those of you who want to understand this I recommend furthre research). It is true that we have an interior neuronal copy paste mechanism that is internally representing the outer percieved world and those in it to a tee, even in so far as me watching you pick up an apple gives me the exact same neurological response in the motor cortex as if I were picking up that apple. Luckily the nerve-response tells the brain that its ok not to initiate action because that isn't me.
    So tying these two together we see why Harvard is a better university than many others, because the lecturers have a comprehensive and experiential knowledge of what they are talking about and this comes across in the neuronal response. This is what makes it a good university. The knowledge as text on paper, or as directed by someone who only learned it from text on paper is of a much diminished quality compared to when it is taught by someone who has gone through the experiential process of developing it.
    We always encourage students to 'go to the source', get the original text etc. Of course this makes sense...one should hear it 'from the horse's mouth'. Now given this light from neurology we see why video based learning is best, we can capture the source and reproduce it.
    Now saying that this is the case does not imply that I believe people will do it out of inspiration in the morning, however, this is the case and it is right that we should act on it. Good luck with all of your efforts, I wish the project well in all sincerity, the world needs it.

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