PBS & TED review the state of education today

Malcolm London at TEDThe Chicago Tribune has a fabulous article on PBS’ TED Talks Education hour long show on May 8 2013, which brought

… together a diverse group of teachers and education advocates delivering short, high-impact talks on the theme of teaching and learning. You’ll also see Chicago’s Malcolm Xavier London performing a spoken word poem about the racial and class tensions he experienced … London, who just turned 20, is a terrific fit for TED — which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. The nonprofit organization bills itself as being devoted to ideas worth spreading and often features people who have taken unorthodox paths giving talks about what they’ve learned


Cornel West calls London the Gil Scott-Heron of this generation, who recorded The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

The article continues,

Here’s an excerpt from “High School Training Ground,” which London performed for TED: “My high school is Chicago, diverse and segregated on purpose. Social lines are barbed wire. Labels like regulars and honors resonate. I am in honors but go home with regular students who are soldiers in a territory that owns them. This is a training ground.”

… although he was a double honors student, (London) graduated in 2011 with only a 1.9 GPA; he said he got drunk the night before he took the ACT and received a score of 25; he graduated late because he was missing half a credit “… I felt whatever I was learning in class, wasn’t teaching me why people on the West Side were dying every day,” London said. “And why my white friends in my honors classes didn’t go to jail if they got caught with drugs, but my black friends from my neighborhood did.”

My personal education speech maker favorite is Sir Kenneth Robinson, who’s famous for the most watched TED talk in history entitled Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity. The 10 TED Talks by others Ken best loves are listed here. In April he filmed a new talk for the PBS Special How to Escape Education’s Death Valley.

Warning: when you browse TED talks, be prepared to spend some time doing it as each subsquent talk is equally as fascinating as the one you just finished watching.

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