4 thought-provoking videos about education

Key points:

In education, there is no shortage of debate. Conversations around proficiency, assessments, grading systems, and professional development are all too familiar.

During a time of immense change and innovation in education, with influencing factors such as increases in personalized learning and the explosion of artificial intelligence, it’s worthwhile to look at some of the mainstays in today’s classrooms.

Could the school year look different? Why are grades set up the way they are? Do schools encourage enough creativity?

TED-Ed Lessons explore some of these very questions. The TED-Ed platform lets educators build lessons around any TED-Ed Original, TED Talk, or YouTube video.

Educators can use TED-Ed Lessons for brain breaks, to introduce new lessons, or to inject some fun and engaging conversation into your class.

Here are 4 videos about today’s education system that might be fun for educators–and students–to debate:

1. Why perfect grades don’t matter: Most American students strive for a 4.0 GPA and the highest test scores, but research shows that this quest for perfection actually discourages creativity and reduces academic risk-taking. In this episode of “School Myths” by The Atlantic, Alice Roth investigates why grades aren’t everything when it comes to education.

2. Why do American schools have such long hours? The structure of America’s school calendar may seem counterintuitive—and in many ways, it is. The Atlantic investigates some pressing questions, such as why American students have long summer breaks between school years and yet such short gaps between each class.

3. Should we get rid of standardized testing? Although standardized testing is a particularly hot topic in education right now, this approach to measurement has been in use for two millennia. And while the results of standardized testing can help us understand some things, they can also be misleading if used incorrectly. So what do these tests actually measure? And are they worthwhile? Arlo Kempf investigates.

4. Do schools kill creativity? Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

Laura Ascione
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