Too often, the idea that children are the future is heard but rarely understood on a larger scale. Not only does this concept embody the fact that children will only get older and be responsible for the manner in which the world works, but it depicts that children are responsible for the influence of the world from the moment they are born. Believe it or not, but children are learning the moment that they exit the womb and adults are learning from them as well. It is believed that a person will learn the majority of what they need to know before they are five years old, so it is fairly astounding just how salient of a role that children play in the world's development and how always have. TED Talks are responsible for putting these profound ideas into moving words and motivational speeches, and they correctly validate why it is so necessary to understand early childhood years better.
Technology, entertainment, and design: The three focuses that have established both the name and purpose of this nonprofit foundation. Since 1984, the concept of TED Talks has always been to spread ideas. Words are powerful and influential at best, so there is no denying the influence of a talented public speaker. Often, people ignore proper ideas due to a lack of understanding of them or simply because they cannot relate to how they are conveyed. TED Talks convey messages concisely in the form of brief talks that are usually under twenty minutes long, and plenty of their talks have been responsible for changing the world with education, ideas that have finally been brought to life, and the discussion of global issues that would have otherwise been ignored. In more than one hundred languages, these talks are heard throughout the world.
1. Peter Benson ~ Sparks: How Youth Thrive
This is an author with a profound belief that children are not to be filled with knowledge because they already have a solid foundation of important life aspects. Upon making mention to a few studies for validation, Benson begins discussing his thoughts on sparking children to be more motivated. One-quarter of eighty million children will never be successful because they lack the necessary peer motivation, so Benson mentioned that three people are necessary for sparking a child's hope, what they believe to be their meaning, and their purpose in life.
2. Alison Gopnik ~ What Do Babies Think?
Alison Gopnik is a psychology and philosophy professor, so she understands how a child thinks. With studies that prove children can read minds no matter how young they are, she also discussed that the age of a person correlates with how much information that they are able to retain. Believed to be the age bracket full of scientists, younger children's development depends on how things are able to work. For example, the manner that children play revolves around a series of experimentation; how does this work, why, and is it able to be altered?
3. Temple Grandin ~ The World Needs All Kinds of Minds
Autism is a condition that has been heard throughout the world more than ever the past decade. Grandin herself has been diagnosed with autism, so she is well equipped to discuss the condition at large while simultaneously disproving pre-existing notions about it. Describing how autism is a set of traits, including behavioral, personality, and social ones, the speaker stated that autistic people are detail-oriented and that there is nothing wrong with that. The world does not need to treat this as a fragile condition, but as one that is different because it offers fresh perspectives.
4. Patricia Kuhl ~ The Linguistic Genius of Babies
In this talk, Kuhl highlighted that babies favor one language over another. Now, the majority of the world is part of a bilingual household, so this talk is profoundly important for every person with children in every corner of the globe. Children six months and younger study everything around them in a manner that gives them cues as to what they are supposed to mimic or sound like. This collection of data allows children to create an understanding of their world by demonstrating to them who they are supposed to be. Coinciding with this talk is Annie Murphy Paul's, What We Learn Before We're Born, which states that children hear language in the womb, thus instilling in them morals, ideals, and a foundation before they are even born.
5. Sal Kahn ~ Let's Teach for Mastery--Not Test Scores
Kahn is an educator intent on not rushing children through education. When preparing for school and throughout the course of a child's education, it is crucial to never rush them through a lesson simply because they must learn this particular topic. Children have yet to even master basic concepts of the world, so how are they able to retain such valuable information on a plethora of subjects? Kahn urges parents to take their time with children as everyone learns differently and those who seem slower with learning might be mastering a particular trade rather than just brushing its surface.
6. Colin Powell ~ Kids Need Structure
Education is important; there is no denying that. However, education often gets pushed to the side throughout a child's career. Essentially, extracurricular activities become more important while studies lessen in significance. Powell discusses the need for a right educational path to be presented to children as early as possible not just for the knowledge that will be bestowed upon them but because they need to learn how to strive through social situations. Early education will easily adapt a child to society, a fact that will generate positivity in societies across the globe. This talk also stressed the importance of family playing a role in a child's education outside of the classroom.
7. Sugata Mitra ~ The Child-Driven Education
In no way does this talk attempt to disprove the need for teachers, but it does emphasize the importance of a child being independent in their educational affairs. Even in troubled parts of the United States, children have access to teachers and better educational opportunities than developing portions of the world. Mitra stated that providing one electronic device to a school in an underdeveloped portion of the world for one week would result in the child learning it in its entirety with little to no help. Essentially, children in the United States are pushed through their education with a guide rather than learning critical thinking skills and adapting to a more simple way of life. Additionally, distractions can be detrimental to the learning process, and certain areas are full of them.
8. Jarrett J. Krosoczka ~ How a Boy Became an Artist
Speaking from his own experience, the speaker touched upon the importance of honing in on a child's interests. Stating that he only had an interest in drawing that spiraled into him becoming a talented artist, Krosoczka illustrated the importance art has in a child's world. Art can shape a kid's future and the manner that they view the world, so why not make it a positive experience? No matter the age, pay attention to the interest of your child because it could be their entire world in the future.
9. Laura Schulz ~ The Surprisingly Logical Mind of Babies
Schulz is a cognitive scientist who has a profound interest in how logical children are before they can even talk. Children learn a lot from so little information, and Schulz has always been fascinated by that. She discusses the fairly intricate decision-making process that children have the moment they are out of the womb and how it is important to recognize that and influence it to the best of your ability.
10. Mac Barnett ~ Why a Good Book Is a Secret Door
In a fairly humorous talk, Barnett stresses the importance of books for children, specifically ones that spark their budding imaginations. He strained how words should come to life for children and he also emphasized the importance of introducing children to art. Imagination is forever, so creating a solid foundation of that is salient.