TED Conversations

Juliette LaMontagne

Founder & Managing Director, Breaker


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What are the advantages/disadvantages of learning models that exist outside of traditional educational institutions?

With the growing number of alternative learning pathways and opportunities to better serve the needs of individual students, what's working best? And what can we learn from the failures and tensions? Where and how have the models in the margins effectively disrupted the status quo?

I'll add to the conversation my current initiative, Breaker - driving alternative learning and social innovation by mobilizing interdisciplinary teams of young creative collaborators to design product solutions to global challenges.

This Live Conversation will start on Feb. 15, 2012, 1:00pm EST/ 10:00am PST


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  • Feb 15 2012: I think just like different teachers teach different ways, so goes the system of education. We all learn things different ways. Some can grasp concepts by reading then doing, others by doing making a mistake and then understanding why that mistake occurred thus learning that way. I think classroom teaching is good for general overall topic discussions and presentations. However, I feel with so many flavors of learning, how can we judge a child by not grasping onto a concept or lesson taught in a way that's not suited to their comprehension style? I have a 7 year old, and I find that children love the concept of learning on computers, but most of their state and district comprehension tests occur with paper and pencil. We've found that the concepts are learned, but presenting what they have learned in a different format affects their outcome. (Translation: Kids are learning by computer, but testing is done with pencil and paper over the same thing but they are failing because the question and testing is presented differently.) Same thing occured when kids had to count using money. On paper, they could do math with drawn images of money and make change. But if you gave them real money and asked them do the same thing, they freak out because the presentation is different. I'd like to hear other people's thoughts. Hopefully, I'm not off topic here.

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