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 believe there is tremendous value in non traditional education, but I also know that standardized testing - high quality, higher order thinking skills included testing, when results are published, holds everyone to a high standard. I have worked in two complete opposite situations, and without the testing, the school / system was not functioning nearly as well, and it shows in international rankings. Not all assessment and evaluation is equal - apples and oranges...

    I am all for alternative approaches, but they need to match the child / adult and their learning style. Some students need to learn much more hands on than schools typically are. They aren't dumb at all. They simply learn differently.

    We shortchange them when we expect all to learn the same way, AND especially when we accommodate. It's like killing with kindness to me. Shouldn't everyone have access to decent math, reading, and writing skills?

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