Podcast round-up: education with NPR, TED and TAL

» Building A Better Classroom – NPR, TED Radio Hour

by Coranna Howard in Links

This TED Radio Hour talks to TED speakers Sir Ken Robinson, Salman Khan and John Hunter.

I will remark on them in reverse, starting (obviously) with John Hunter. His game of politics reminds me of an unrelated Grenada invasion reenactment covered in an episode of This American Life.1 They could stand to learn a lesson or two from Hunter: they insist the decisions of the past were correct, rather than allowing the children to figure it out without assistance or immediate judgment. Hunter, on the other hand, gives them a world much like ours and says, “Here're the keys to the missile silos (and everything else). Do as you please and we'll discuss the outcomes later.”

Secondly: Salman Khan, the creator of Khan Academy.2 If you don't know who he is or what Khan Academy is by now, frankly I am appalled.

Thirdly: Sir Ken Robinson, whose talks3 I somehow missed. He expands upon them in the podcast, so I won't offer anything except this: I agree with him entirely.

Before I scamper off with my virtual visage, I must share the end to his second talk: a poem by Yeats with a very poignant addition:

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

And everyday, everywhere, our children spread their dreams beneath our feet, and we should tread softly.

Lastly, the link excerpt:

“There's a terrible tendency to confuse raising standards with standardizing.”
— Sir Ken Robinson

We know getting a good education is important, but does the current model nurture real learning? Here, we look at powerful ideas on how to change education: flipping classrooms, rethinking lesson plans and re-imagining the role of teacher and student.

Building A Better Classroom – NPR, TED Radio Hour