TED talks.urban_data (image modified). Creative Commons.

5 Must-See TED Talks for Teachers

Get inspired by these terrific, short videos by experts who deeply care about education.

TED talks have become an espresso shot of online inspiration. Clocking in at just 18 minutes or less, the speakers (who come from all over the globe) cover a range of topics on technology, entertainment, and design (“TED,” get it?). These short videos are free for anyone to watch, and many offer insightful and compelling takes on teaching and education.

Here are five TED Talks percolating with creative ideas and innovative concepts that are sure to stimulate your thoughts on the educational process.

1. “Do schools kill creativity?”

Infused with a great British sense of humor, Sir Ken Robinson makes a compelling case for creating an educational system that allows for mistakes and nurtures passion and creativity. It’s no wonder this talk leads the pack with more than 35 million views.
Watch TED Talk.

2. “How to fix a broken school? Lead effortlessly, love hard”

Linda Cliatt-Wayman was a student, a teacher, and eventually a principal in a low-income district of the Philadelphia public school system. Her willingness to get into the trenches won her respect among students and fellow staffers, but it’s her fearless leadership that made a rippling effect in the schools she’s touched.
Watch TED Talk.

3. “Our failing schools. Enough is enough!”

Geoffrey Canada passionately advocates a big shift in the dated educational business model of “one size fits all.” Not every student learns the same way – Canada is a proponent of innovative teaching methods that embrace those differences. We can’t keep making the same mistakes over and over, he says; “Failing schools are not like a bottle of wine…they don’t get better with age.”
Watch TED Talk.

4. “The best kindergarten you’ve ever seen”

Architect Takaharu Tezuka designs schools that let kids be kids. He walks us through the thought process for developing a circular kindergarten in Tokyo that embraces openness, nature, noise, and creates an environment with “no boundaries.”
Watch TED Talk.

5. “Every kid needs a champion”

An educator for over 40 years, Rita Pierson insists, “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” She shares her belief that teaching isn’t simply about lecturing; it’s about connecting with students in a personal and meaningful way.
Watch TED Talk.


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