TED Conversations

Jason Wolfe

Speaker Curator / Teacher, TEDxTokyo

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In education, Finland is usually at the top & the USA near the bottom, but what is the middle or upper middle doing?

Like many other situations we like to focus on the extremes, and although learning from the best is not a bad idea, I would like to learn a little from the pretty darn good.

What are all those countries located in the upper middle area doing to get themselves where they are? Something tells me they aren't just avoiding wat the USA is doing and emulating Finland.

If you can, please share some of your stories and knowledge on what is working for you that other teachers and educators could mull over.


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  • Apr 22 2013: When Yours or Finlands schools teach you to think for yourselves, let us know. Until then, you do better at memorization than most, that's all. If you can think for yourself, tell us, what have you given to the world that no other has?
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      Apr 22 2013: Hi Jim

      I live in Japan, where most schools are geared towards entrance exams and thus rote skills and memorization are very much at the forefront. When you memorize for a test, there is a lot of cramming and long term doesn't really come into the picture.

      I am wondering how you would define "think for yourself" and its role in education. I am curious.

      • Apr 22 2013: Recognizing that others may have things to offer is a sign of an intelligent and cautious mind. That's good to see. I would say look to your school years, to see that you dare not challenge a teacher or you'd be where? Look to the system and ask yourself, did that system look for the best in each student and work to bring that out like my mother or does the system get angry with those that are different or seemingly, defiant?

        We all lived the exact same things in school, depending on the school, the money, time, dress, jobs of the parents and so on, for the que's in how each is to be treated by the teachers or nuns. By such, learning is reduced to the least common denominator, instead of the best, which is to find the best each child has to offer and help them to enhance that. I went to a rich catholic school, even though we were economically poor. My mom worked 3 jobs to raise 5 kids and to give us the best educations. It's too bad the schools were ppoor in heart, mind and spirit.

        How many teachers have you seen, that taught the most timid of children, to help themselves and how did they do it? Think about it, perhaps you can offer an answer.

        There's more, but I'll await your input to here, as you show interesting qualities. However, unless you, we, are taught, it's darn near impossible to know.

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