TED Talks for Teachers – Volume 6

My sixth annual collection of TED talks for teachers features thought-provoking topics from unfounded fears about screen time to the important roles social justice can play in the classroom. 


Help for Kids the Education System Ignores – Victor Rios

I cringe when I hear people suggest that underachieving students simply need to work harder. That idea may be true for some, but it’s a rather limited perspective. Grit simply isn’t enough for many students. Victor Rios shares some great insight into how teachers can succeed with students who are often failed by the education system. 


How to Inspire Every Child to Be a Lifelong Reader – Alvin Irby

85% of black male fourth graders are not proficient in reading. Alvin Irby makes a powerful call for culturally competent educators to create reading experiences that are relevant and engaging for all students. 

“As a society, we’re creating reading experiences for children that are the equivalent of telling bar jokes in a church. And then we wonder why so many children don’t read.”

– Alvin Irbty

In addition to creating child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops throughout the country, Irby has also created a curated list of children’s books recommended by black boys.


How America’s Public Schools Keep Kids in Poverty – Kandice Sumner

It was not my intention to have a theme to this year’s Ted Talks for teachers, but I absolutely had to include Kandic Sumner’s powerful reminder of the disparities in educational resources for black/brown students as compared to rich/white students. 

It’s not an achievement gap; it’s an education debt, for all of the foregone schooling resources that were never invested in the education of the black and brown child over time.

– Kandice Sumner


How Teachers Can Help Kids Find Their Political Voices – Sydney Chaffee

I’ve never understood the objections of some to social justice in the classroom. In fact, I’ve always believed it’s an integral part of any effective learning environment. Sydney Chaffee does an amazing job explaining why. Before you react, watch the whole talk. It’s not about imposing our views on students. It’s essential to helping students articulate their own opinions. 

Social justice should be a part of the mission of every school and every teacher in America, if we want “liberty and justice for all” to be more than a slogan …

– Sydney Chaffee


3 Fears About Screen Time for Kids — and Why They’re Not True – Sara DeWitt

I regularly find myself saying that “not al screen-time is equal;” I’m usually saying this when the same adults who check their phones more than 50 times a day share their fears about screen-time for kids. Children’s media expert Sara DeWitt addresses three of the most common screen-time fears parents have, and helps us think about what is possible when we focus on the positive impacts technology can have on our kids. 

Fears About Screen Time


More TED Talks for Teachers

The Original 5 Ted Talks That Changed My Classroom (2013)
5 More TED Talks That Changed My Classroom (2014)
5 TED Talks for Teachers (2015)
5 TED Talks for Educators (2016)
5 TED Talks for Teachers (2017)

What are your favorite TED Talks?

Share in the comments below or on Twitter.


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