TED Conversations

Aaron Yang

High school Mathematics teacher,

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Adopting a 20% rule in elementary education.

If you haven't already watched Dan Pink's talk about motivation, i'll briefly summarize one of several radical models of autonomy in corporations.

20% rule: employees are allowed to spend 20% of their time working on any project they choose, any way they want. (currently adopted by google)
"half of new products in a typical year are birthed during this 20% time"

The current education system has already structured each student's schedule for its entire 7-8hr school day. This leaves no room for self-exploration. My journey after grade-school was completely without direction. The only subjects i knew were math, english, history, and the sciences. And because of this, i felt as if those were the only possible choices to major in. Now, i'm currently on my way to finishing a degree in Applied Mathematical Sciences.

However, had I been exposed to TED and RSA at an earlier age, or had been exposed to more of the world during this 7-8hr blunt day, I may have turned out much differently.

My idea is to encourage systems of education that promote exploration and innovation starting at an early age. Allocate 1-2hrs of a school day for students to be 100% available to information from teachers, classmates, and technology.

I understand that there are always complications with these sorts of ideas, such as, whether or not students will utilize this time effectively? will they be wasting this time texting? playing games? I would appreciate the input of the brilliant minds on here to criticize, contemplate, add to, or possibly even show me an existing model like this.

Much appreciated!

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    Mar 5 2012: to my knowledge, The Montessori Model was made to develop autonomy in children. Google it !
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      Mar 5 2012: thanks! this was exactly what i was looking for. i'll close this conversation today

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