Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.'” A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.
Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs “childish” thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups’ willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.
The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it’s “a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic,” as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.
One of the biggest questions in terms of childhood education is when do we even begin to learn? Clearly, if we want to understand early childhood education, few questions are as crucial as this one. The majority of psychologists state that the age range from 0-3 are the most crucial, developmentally. Science writer Annie Murphey Paul presents evidence of even earlier development. Using numerous studies from across the globe dealing with food and even cultural preference, she shows that a large sum of the learning we do may, in fact, be done while we’re still in the womb.
The need for teachers doesn’t merely exist in the western world. Indeed, the places where teachers are needed the most, they’re often not present. It’s hard to convince the world’s best teachers to disseminate their knowledge in the world’s poorest places. Sugata Mitra, however, discovered something incredible in his research on education. If he put a computer in a remote village (in places where they have never been seen before), within hours students will have mastered it. Within days, they will be learning and teaching their interests and become masterful in that subject matter, regardless of a teacher.
If you asked the average adult “what do infants and babies think?” they would probably respond with a resounding “nothing.” After all, it’s our job to teach the babies and infants how to think. Most people view their brains as neurological play-dough that can be molded instead of as complex, functioning structures. Gopnik provides research to illustrate that, shockingly ,there’s a lot more going on in the mind of that infant than we’d originally think. In fact, according to her, it’s almost “genius.”
These are some of the most popular talks of all time. They are all educative, inspiring and you should definitely watch them!