Saturday, May 11, 2013

TED Talks Education

The "Voices" and I have been going back-and-forth pretty hot and heavy for the last three months (No, I'm not crazy.  I just figure, when you talk to yourself, if nobody else -- you ought to have some damned answers!).  The conversations have been enlightening and reductive; combative and conciliatory; exciting and depressing (and no, I'm not a manic-depressive either); but most of all -- emotionally and mentally draining.

Clicking through the channels (TV is such shit these days), I stumbled upon this show on PBS, thinking it'd just be some "white noise" to ease my mind.  But I was pleasantly surprised that it was exactly the opposite!  Do click the link below to watch, listen and enjoy...

TEDTalks Education

In order of appearance:
  • Ms. Rita Pierson -- a combination of ALL my Black, public high school teachers; my kind of self-esteem builder!
  • Ramsey Musallum -- yep, he's a chemistry teacher; I'd have liked being in his class
  • Shahruz Ghaemi -- "out of the mouths of babes" is all I can say about this kid!
  • Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth -- perky with a point, no?
  • Melissa Perez -- keep blowin' that whole pregnant teen, single mother bullshit out of the water, Chica!
  • Bill Gates -- never had many warm fuzzies about him, but hey...
  • John Legend -- that voice, those words!
  • Geoffrey Canada -- forget Arne Duncan's ass!  I thought the Changeling should have appointed him Secretary of Education (but I know, that would've been too much like right)!
  • Malcolm London -- a powerful, honest reality from this young brother; he should be the Changeling's "homeboy" (but of course, we know Lincoln is)
  • Pearl Arredondo -- ¡Prédica!; Así me gusta la verdad de esta hermana Latina!
  • Sir Ken Robinson -- y'all betta recognize, the British are coming (back!)

I needed to see this right now Family.  How 'bout you?


jblu74 said...

I like TED talks. It's an innovative forum with good intentions. TED talks Education doesn't really advance anything innovative but if the goal is to educate a fairly young new teaching force then I guess the speakers are pretty noteworthy. Here's my take on the speakers.

Rita Pierson-build relationships with your students. Yep...gotta do that. Had a few teachers like her along the way too, Deb.

Ramsey Musallum-teachers would love to teach like this; however, this type of creative leeway is only allowed in certain schools without threat of losing one's position. Going against the standardized testing grain is a no no in most schools. Change the expectation of the school culture then you can change what happens in the classroom. Not a topic educators need to hear though. We know this stuff.

Sharuz Ghaemi-privileged; nice sentiment.

Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth-depressed people are not motivated. Heal depression-see motivation. My students come from a culture of depression. Some have the innate ability to see above this cloud but most cannot escape it.

Melissa Perez-old news; keep sharing though cause some are not exposed and don't know.

Bill Gates-intentions are shaky; sounds like he's selling a new industry: teacher coaches. Like the school consultants with no educational background that are charged with turning around "failing" schools. not impressed.Ask teachers what they need. I guarantee the number one answer will not be coaches.

Malcolm London-creativity and intelligence

Pearl Arredondo-connections; relationships; charter school success story okay. I get it though WE do need to create our own schools but teachers working on one year contracts? Teachers that work beyond their contracted hours?(haven't met one teacher who doesn't already do this already)

Sir Ken Robinson-This man sounds just like the British dude hired as a turnaround partner for my local school district. Same words, same philosophy same examples. He works for Cambridge Education a subsidiary company of Mott McDonald an ENGINEERING firm. When asked to be apart of the first phase of our school evaluation in the turnaround process, myself along with several others on the team were asked to focus on observing the LEARNING that was taking place in the classroom. Are the lessons delivered in a manner that supports the learning objective or the teaching delivery objective? Yeah, I get it. Most teachers who have been doing this for at least five years do get it.

Overall, the most important messages: our community needs to establish a vision for itself outside of the parameters of the mainstream educational system. It is dead (not dying). The ideas expressed by the speakers should be addressed not to the usually optimistic and well trained teachers but the over paid and disconnected suits that make the decisions at levels unaffected by teacher input.

Deb said...

jblu74...Hey there! I like some of the TED talks as well (my absolute favorite was the one with Chimamanda Adichie). I didn't like this one because I was looking for anything innovative, as I said -- "the Voices" were wearing me the hell out and I was just looking for some distraction from them!

I'm not a teacher (though I briefly entertained the thought a few years ago with Teach for America because I felt I'd learned quite a bit to share over my lifetime (they weren't enthused about my answers). The fact that teaching or typing were the perceived "defaults" for Black women back in the day, as if we couldn't do anything else, annoyed my 19 year-old self to no end (When I told my mother I was going to major in French in undergrad -- she was irate as she told me, "You better major in Education or Business Administration so you can get a real job!")!

As you said about Ms. Pierson, building relationships with your students is essential, but what I loved most was her, "I am somebody, I was somebody when I came and I'll be a better somebody when I leave!" story. Too many Black kids get asked on the daily, "Don't you want to be somebody?" -- as if they're nobody to begin with! I also loved the +2, "smiley face" story because she gets how kids need to FEEL encouraged.

"Change the expectation of the school culture then you can change what happens in the classroom."

But shouldn't educators (who are in the classroom, seeing what happens), followed by parents, be on the frontline of that change? I get the fear of losing your position thing, but somebody has to stand for something, no? If not, kids will just keep getting what they've been getting.

"Sharuz Ghaemi-privileged"

Does the fact that he's privileged reduce his opinion to mere "sentiment?" I didn't think so. He not only said what I've heard plenty of kids say (who are not privileged), but what I've said myself at my Teach for America interview (probably why they weren't enthused, right?)!

"Melissa Perez-old news...not exposed and don't know"

Can a thing be "old news" if it's still happening -- in abundance? I'd say there are wa-a-a-y more than "some" who are not exposed and don't know, which is why I like what I've seen, read and heard from Geoffrey Canada. He seems to truly get how in order to truly "educate" a child, there are a ton of factors to be considered -- not just what they do in the classroom.

I agree with you on Bill Gates. My "but hey" referred to, why not take the dollars he's giving (unless of course there are rigid stipulations) to get the creative leeway to actually do those innovative things one sees as necessary?

I definitely co-sign on Malcolm London and Pearl Arredondo. And yes, "WE do need to create our own schools." Schools where our children not only learn what they need to compete, but most importantly -- learn the answer to Brother Malcolm's "Who are you!, not in the context of the white gaze.

No thoughts at all on what Sir Ken had to say. Just noting the proliferation of Brits back in America as if they'd never left!

Deb said...

jblu74...I was going through some links I saved (I'm a link hoarder) and found this one from last month:

Seems some students are willing to get on the frontline for themselves!

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