Inspirational TED Talks about Education

Want something inspirational? We are a few days in our holiday break but I am still waking up as if I need to go to school. The everyday buzz of the classroom is humming in my ears as if I just came home from a rock concert. To compensate for the early get up, my holiday morning routine usually includes watching TED talks. I have a habit (annoying to many) that once something catches my attention I will watch, read or listen to it over and over again.

The following are inspirational TED talks about education that I can’t stop watching. They provide insight and inspiration but they also challenge how we think about teaching and school leadership.

Rita Pierson – Every kid needs a champion

Rita reminds us of the impact that we have on young people and the importance of human relationships to improve the life chances of students.


Geoffrey Canada – Our failing schools. Enough is enough!

There is a lot of talk and emotion about academy schools, however, Geoffrey Canada puts all the changes into perspective. Public education has failed disadvantaged pupils for decades, yet, we cling to the same business plan. What other industries support failure year on year?


Carol Dweck – The power of believing that you can improve

Carol is revered by many in schools for her stance that intelligence is malleable. Students with a “growth mindset” can make considerable progress. The focus of learning and praise attributed to it is placed on the process not the outcome.


Linda Cliatt-Wayman – How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard

Linda is a school leader in North Philadelphia who has turned around three failing schools. She set out to humanise the learning experience by taking the chains off the school gates and creating safe and engaging schools for teachers and students. Linda believes that leaders need to lead from the front and lead fearlessly.


Dan Pink – The puzzle of motivation

Dan turned my thinking of motivation upside down, in particular in applying some of his theory to schools – you can see an opinion piece I wrote about school rewards HERE. Dan proposes that ultimate motivation lies in providing opportunities for people to develop mastery, become autonomous and seek their purpose.

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