Sir Ken Robinson at a TED Talk on education
Sir Ken Robinson aims to innovate how we think about education. (Image via Google Images)

5 Inspiring TED Talks That Are Changing the Future of Education Right Now

Many academics are warning of a system in crisis. Fortunately, these innovators are proposing a few different approaches to solving the problem.

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Sir Ken Robinson at a TED Talk on education

Many academics are warning of a system in crisis. Fortunately, these innovators are proposing a few different approaches to solving the problem.

Contemporary education has come under attack as a rusty and inefficient system created back in the 19th century to satisfy the needs of an industrial society; modern educational institutions, however, seem to be preparing students for a world that no longer exists. The cost of going to college is rapidly increasing, and yet, many employers complain about the professional ineptitude of the graduates they hire. On the bright side, the revolution in education has already started. MOOCs (massive open online courses) are catering to a wide variety of educational tastes, and visionary NGOs work hard to make education accessible to every single child on the planet. The success of many cutting-edge educational initiatives has proven that change is possible.

If you are a student, a teacher, or simply a living human being, you are surely interested in what the future of education will look like. Education is shaping the face of our planet more than any other social force. Here is a list of the most game-changing TED Talks on education. It’s likely you will get a dose of inspiration from each of them. But if your workload is too heavy at the moment, remember that you can always delegate some of your papers — from an admission essay to a research article — to a reliable college essay writing service. Spend your time on things that really matter.

1. “How to escape education’s death valley” by Sir Ken Robinson

It would have been impossible to start this list with an educator other than the legendary Sir Ken Robinson. His speech, “Do schools kill creativity,” has become the most popular TED Talk ever. Surely you have already listened to it at least once. This is why you should watch his latest talk in which the education guru lays out three basic principles on which the re-thinking of the current educational paradigm should be based. This brilliant and hilarious talk cannot fail to get you inspired.

2. “Our failing schools. Enough is enough!” by Geoffrey Canada

Geoffrey Canada’s passionate address to the audience is one of the most ardent and enthusiastic talks on education you will ever hear. Canada is appealing to fellow educators all over the world, asking them not to be afraid of change and to keep innovating without letting failures discourage them. “I don’t know about a fiscal cliff, but I know there’s an educational cliff that we are walking over right this very second,” warns Canada. This talk is a call to action that will not leave you indifferent.

3. “Teaching one child at a time” by Shukla Bose

Shukla Bose is one of those utterly amazing people whose journey in education started not as a career path, but rather as a world-saving mission fueled by sheer enthusiasm. Having spent 26 years in the world of big corporations, she decided she had to do something to help the millions of children in slums. “We’re not in the number game,” says Bose, “We want to take one child at a time and take the child right through school, sent to college, and get them prepared for better living, a high-value job.” Having worked hard for six years, the Parikrma Foundation managed to open four schools and one junior college, which changed the lives of children from 28 slums and four orphanages. Bose shares her success story saying that the infrastructure, the toilets and the libraries do not make a good school — what really matters is “an environment of learning, of inquiry, of exploration.”

4. “My wish: Find the next Einstein in Africa” by Neil Turok

Neil Turok is not only a distinguished physicist who has worked with Stephen Hawking, but he is also an education activist who has started the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences from scratch. Today AIMS is helping turn the dreams of many young African scientists into reality. AIMS definitely sounds like an ideal university. “No droning on at the chalkboard. We emphasize problem-solving, working in groups, every student discovering and maximizing their own potential and not chasing grades,” says Turok. Listen to this talk to learn how AIMS helps discover “the African Gates, Brins and Pages of the future.”

5. “Build a School in the Cloud” by Sugata Mitra

In this bold and enthusiastic talk, Sugata Mitra, a revolutionary educational researcher and the winner of the 2013 TED Prize, makes the case against the outdated system of education that does not seem to prepare the youth for the world where “people will work from wherever they want, whenever they want, in whatever way they want.” Mitra’s idea is simple and brilliant at the same time: The researcher believes that children learn best collaboratively when they feel curious about something. Self Organized Learning Environments are meant to assist young learners in their quest for knowledge without stifling their enthusiasm. This talk will make you feel surprised hopeful, and also empowered.

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