Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Post #13

Education legend Sir Ken Robinson picked the talks he loves - all full of insight, bright ideas, and of course, creativity.

What can we learn from these TED talks? -Dr. Strange

Shane Koyczan: “To This Day...for the bullied and beautiful”
Author: Brylyn Cowling

Before you speak, think!

Shane Koyczan’s "To This Day...for the bullied and beautiful" is so powerful. The main topic of discussion is about bullying. He mentions that when we are very young, we are expected to define ourselves, or others will. Isn’t this the way it works? If you aren’t bold in who you are, won’t others define us with terms and stereotypes that may not apply to who we actually are? When this happens, how do we stand up for ourselves when we do not even know who we are yet as a person? Who I am now is not who I was in high school. Who I am now will not be who I am in 10 years. Life is a growing experience. A physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growing experience. Why is it that we start at such a young age being so critical of one another? Is it a learned behavior? Is it in our genetic makeup to be so critical? Who are we to judge one another? Don’t we all have faults? We are none by zero means perfect, so why is the human race like this?

We are asked at a very young age what we want to be when we grow up. People ask you this question, and then shoot down your dreams and aspirations. Why are dreams so easily dismissed? What is it about our dreams that are so wrong? Children and young adults should be encouraged to dream and aspire to be whatever they are passionate about.

Something very interesting and enlightening Shane mentions is that we grew up to cheer on the underdog because we often see ourselves in them. Isn’t this true? I can reflect back on so many instances when I stood up for someone because I could see myself in their struggles and pain. I could, at times, relate to what they were going through.

What did I learn from this TED Talk? Most importantly, I learned to be encouraging. I will have to encourage my students to stand with me in putting an end to bullying. I will have to positively encourage each of my students to be creative and to DREAM. I will have to be sensitive to each of my students’ needs. Students are forced to come to school to learn content required by the state. Not only do I want my students to be educated in Mathematics, Science, Language Arts, the Arts, Technology, etc., I want my students to be educated in how to be a compassionate human being in our diverse society. I want to teach my students the importance of respect for others and themselves, self-worth, and discipline.

Wow! Our society has a long ways to go, but the change in our society begins with me.

“If you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer, because there's something inside you that made you keep trying despite everyone who told you to quit.” -Shane Koyczan

Mae Jemison: Teach Arts and Sciences Together

Author: Victoria E. Williams

Albert Einstein once said “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.

Mae Jemison is a very ambitious individual who is an astronaut, a doctor, an art collector, and a dancer. Jemison inspires educators to create bold thinkers through merging the two subjects of art, and science together. Through TED talk Mae Jemison: Teach arts and science together she explains her perception of education from telling her own experiences and from her time spent in space. Educators job is to lay the foundation of our students to prepare them for the jobs of the future. If we are teaching material in an insufficient manner we are lacking in the efforts to prepare our students to be successful. Who does not want to be creative, or logical? Of Course, everyone desires to be creative and logical! These are two characteristics that correlate to each other when merging arts and sciences together. Mae Jemison said, “The imagination and creativity that it takes to launch a rocket ship, is the same imagination and creativity it takes to carve a piece of wood.”

If we want to inspire our students to be the future of tomorrow we should think about the way our education is being taught today. Jemison described it best when she said, “Science provides an understanding of universal experience and arts provides a universal understanding of a personal experience.” As future educators we need to begin revitalizing the sciences and arts in the educational system. Jemison said, “My chemistry teacher use to hold up a ball and would say this ball has potential energy, but nothing will happen to it until I drop it and it changes states.” Nothing will happen until we risk taking chances and change the way we are teaching arts and science’s in education. We need to forget being fearful of failure, and become daring teachers who are willing to make risks to conquer true success of the education our students deserve!

I believe that teachers should integrate art into every subject, not just science. If art was integrated into more subject areas student’s would be more interested in the material that was being presented to them. Yes, our philosophy of the way science is being taught needs improvement. I do believe that blending art into science will provide a better understand for students, but I think that integrating arts in every subject could shed light and create a more engaged learning process for every subject that is being taught. I have never taught in a classroom before, but I still believe that to be a successful teacher one must be unique, daring, and fearless. A teacher must learn to adapt to her students, what works one year may not work the next. I do believe however, that when adding art and involving incorporation of art into any subject, one will never go wrong.

Shukla Bose: Teaching one child at a time

Author: Duane Nelson

Shukla Bose

Shukla Bose is founder and CEO of Parikrma Humanity Foundation. The Parikrma Humanity Foundation is a non-profit organization that runs schools for under-privileged children in India. The schools provide quality English education to children from slums and orphanages. In the beginning of Shukla starting her foundation she realized the outrageous number of children that are uneducated. In the video she states that 200 million children from the age of 4 to 14 should be going to school but are not, another 100 million children are attending school but cannot read, and 125 million cannot do basic math. Shukla states that 250 billion Indian rupees are dedicated to government schooling with 90 percent going to teacher and administrative pay. The problem with this is that India has the highest teacher absences in the world. This reflects on the children's education because 1 out of every 4 teachers do not attend school the entire year.

At the beginning of her search to better education for the children her first school consisted of 165 students in a two story building with half of a tin roof. In just six years her foundation created four schools and one junior college. This included 100,100 children out of twenty eight slums and four orphanages. Shukla's main focus is to give these children from the slums an education and a peaceful place to live. The education that these children are receiving has inspired other family members of the household to want to learn as well. Shukla and her foundation started noticing that 80 percent and sometimes even 100 percent of the parents were attending school meetings. Many of these parents showed great interest and asked for a class to learn how to read and write. With this high interest from the parents she started an after school program for the parents interested in learning to read and write. Shukla Bose and the Parikrma Humanity Foundation have already helped out countless number of people and are planning to continue in the years to come.

Charles Leadbeater: Education innovation in the slums video
Author: Phillip Hall

Charles Leadbeater's video talked about how some of the world's poorest kids are finding transformative new ways to learn. The video starts out talking about how some people have better advantage points in life, for instance a poor child vs. a privileged child in the education world. What Leadbeater means by this is, your advantage point determines what you can see. The advantages some students have basically determines everything they will see and the questions they ask will determine the answer they get. The lessons children learn in school in developing countries are not for academic purposes but how they can stay alive. Education is a global religion and EDUCATION+Technology=HOPE for students in developing worlds.

Most of the education in our society is pushed upon rather than being self-influenced. Leadbeater states that education needs to work by "pull not push" method. In order for children to stay entertained and influenced about their education they should be motivated to do so, rather than having an education forced upon them. The "pull" method influences a student who looks to sell drugs and make easy blood money through criminal activity to stay alive rather than rely on education to play a role in life. The idea of a curriculum is irrelevant to children in developing countries who may see drug dealing as a necessity to survive. Education should start with things that would make a difference to them in their lives or settings.

Motivation is the key. Learning has to be productive for it to make sense and be self influenced. There are two types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation means that education has a payoff, but you may have to wait quite a long time for it. However, that's too long if you're poor and have daily needs to meet. Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from inside an individual rather than from any external or outside rewards, such as money or grades. Intruistic motivation is the key concept for a child seeking an education in a developing world. Developing countries use this technique to teach students essential things they need in life, for exapmple, how to make soap! Making soap is a very intrinsic way of learning.

The models that work best in the developing world are the "Chinese Restaurant Model" which uses the same principles but different applications in different settings. The Chinese model spreads vs. the "McDonald's Model which scales. Our education systems can learn more through the Chinese Model rather than using the "McDonald's model. Our systems fail to reach the people they most need to serve, they often hit the target but miss the point. Leadbeater makes a point in the presentation; We need a global wave of social entrepreneurship to create highly motivating, low cost ways to learn at scale in the developing world. The two types if basic innovation: sustaining and disruptive. Sustaining innovation sustains an existing institution and disruptive innovation breaks it apart and creates different ways of doing it. Sustaining & Disruptive can be in a formal or informal location. Our systems focus more on sustaining in formal setting and developing worlds focus on disruptive and need more reinvention. Where some of the world's poorest kids are finding transformative new ways to learn this informal, disruptive new kind of school, Leadbeater says, is what all schools need to become.Charles Leadbeater's Video.


  1. Hey Brylyn!

    Your section of Blog Post #13 was very interesting and informational! I love the way you continuously asked questions in your writing in order to inspire your readers to contemplate the point that you’ve delivered.

    I agree with, and support completely, your desire to encourage your students to be compassionate and kind toward their peers and everyone they come into contact with. I believe this will be a wonderful asset to model and teach in your classroom in order to generate an effective learning environment.

    You did a great job on your writing, your source for your picture is working splendidly, and I found no grammatical errors while reading.

  2. This comment applies to your portion of the post.

    Very good! Your writing was great.