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TEDxDubai - Ian Gilbert - 10/10/09

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(music) Our next speaker is going to talk to us about what happens if you re imagine all of the things you are using in your education process and what we do for education Please welcome to the stage, Ian Gilbert (applause) thank you Hi, Hi TEDxDubai The idea of loads of people coming together from different discipline from different parts of the world Sharing ideas, translating ideas, Fantastic idea But then when, you doing that in this part of the world over thousands years ago the house of wisdom but then that is the side of Baghdad we don't tend to see from, in the west I want to get your brains going, I want to get you thinking I want to share with you a little question the question is called a thunk A thunk, it is the noise the brain makes when it starts thinking about things Audience Participation, i want to give you, i only get 10 minutes So i am going to give you 30 seconds of those 10 mintues Just share, do this in twos or can we be a three threes if you must with your new fan friends next to you. This is the question And the question, this question there are no rights or wrong the answers are either yes, no or other And others is perfectly valid I don't know because is a perfectly valid response But you won't know that listening to politicians or reading the old media that earlier they were talking about So yes no or other 30 seconds with the person next to you. The question is Is a broken down car parked Is a broken down car parked? 30 seconds with the person next to you, yes no or other. Quickly, off you go (audience) Ten seconds Ok, bring it back bring it back, bring it back simple and good interaction devoting technology Who thinks a broken down car is parked Who thinks its not parked Who thinks other WHo is going well, i want more information what color is the car (laughter) As soon as you say to a child Ok you think this, just tell me why you think it It is like opening a little window in their heads and you see their thinking in in action in a way you don't get from the traditional teaching model of i am going to give you my ideas I am going to give you my thoughts when a little lad i was working with, was 6, 5 or 6 i asked him where thoughts came from and he said, our God puts them in my ears and the little people in my head sort them out and they come out of my mouth (laughter) Fantastic, mad The parking, when i put it to teachers, i did a lot of work with teachers she fed back to me, i put it to you. Imagine the scene You paid a couple of dirhams or whatever it is for , in the meter and you've gone shopping and when you come back, you've realized, you left your lights on and the car won't start, ok? the meter money has expired the car won't start You ring the mechanic, they say they will be with you in an hour You've got another hour in that car parking space, your parking has expires umm, how many of you, be honest would pay the extra bit of money for the extra hour while he waited for the mechanic to come out how many of you would stand there with the money going like that when people walking by laughter Thunks, there is a professor of philosophy in America in the 80s called Mathew Litman Who realizes his undergraduates could tell you what Socrates thought, couldn't think for themselves. So he put this program together called Philosophy for Children Getting kids from as little as 5 years old to really start to think for themselves Thunks is sort of what i've spin off, off the back of working in that way. It is a very powerful way of getting kids to think for themselves its because the work that i have been doing for the last 15 years in the UK and in parts of the world as well and i am just starting living in Dubai now trying to bring this work over here is about with independent thinking is about getting kids to think for themselves but the history of education well thats what school are for i know its not, unless you were a certain sort of a child in a certain sort of school but for the majority of people education is about getting them not to think in fact, we don't want people to think You look at the industrial method 1911, F, W Taylor the industrial method, alright he showed countries, whether we are talking about britian , America, Russia wherever he showed countries how to get them to be more productive, produce more money but it involved people not thinking in the factories, in the mines, in the steel work because they would mess the system up so they needed to be taught enough maths, enough english in order to get by but told not to think and you can go back further than that. and you can go in all sorts of different directions Rockofelt, 1906 headed the education board in the US Said "in our dreams, people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands" The education system was about manipulating people's brain in order to get them love thier God, love their leader, go out and fight for their country do just enough but 21st century, things have changed and the work we've been doing at school is trying to get people to think and it makes their brains hurt my target when i am working with a group of kids i say the end of the session i want your brains to hurt i was good with that. i was working a while back with a group of - in the UK we have a system gifted & talented and whether you have that where you a there is something like - i don't know the exact figures because they are too ridicules but it is something like every group of kids 10% should be gifted & talented but the other ridiculous thing in the UK is we everybody has to try to be above average i don't know how that works either statistically speaking (laughter) Doom to failure pretty why i am here i had a group of kids, the GNT kids , gifted and talented they were about 12, 13 and they were talking about a tree. i said ok hang on a minute. What do you mean tree. lets stop skimming the surface. Lets burry down a little bit deeper. Socarates he said "an unexamined life is a life not worth living" let us get a little bit deeper. 30 seconds in pair i want a definition of a tree. these kids couldn't come up with anything is not logical in sort of a test OH it is a big thing, we'll leave some alright, so it wasnt a tree in the winter in the UK. is it less of a tree in the winter than it is in the summer this table is made of wood. when did it stop being a tree. Has it stopped being a tree If i chop a tree and start writing on it is it a table if i climb a tree and start writing in it is it a table If i stick leaves on the table does it become a tree again "My brain hurts sir" (laughter) One girls said "i used to think i was gifted and talented" (laughter) ONe of the lads he said you de-spanned our brains sir. I said what you don't expand it you despaned it he said i know less on the way out than when i come in (laughter) I said its great, it is like anti-teaching But teaching is about them leaving with my thoughts and this is a place for that but there is a powerful place for them developing their own thinking One of my favorite quotes keeps going round and round in my head at the moment it is an Einstein quote He said if we can't solve the problems by using the same kind of thinking we use when we created them The problems that the world is facing and we've touched on some of them today and will have more this afternoon We are not going to solve these problems It is the children sitting in classrooms anywhere in the world hopefully if it is a good enough classroom whose brains would be open up enough in order to be able to go out and solve these problems perhaps but we are not going to solve this problem So if you think of evolution and perhaps people are watching this podcast might not believe in evolution but i dont believe in gravity, so you just have to live with it. It is evolution, Darwin didn't use the term evolution he talked about descent with modification decent with modification. If children just think our thoughts nothing changes and if nothing changes, basic biology tells us something, it is going to die Decent with modification says we need children leaving our schools thinking slightly different from the way we think to keep going to keep the world going. So what are we doing to teach kids to think independent thinking in my company that is what we are tying to do so it can be a bit of a challenge there are 3 parts to independent thinking And it is only when i started getting involved with sort of looking at what TED was doing So you got technology, entertainment & design So i realized in many ways independent thinking it was sort of technology education a neuroscience which is tense if you look in ten dot come they've got a website about bowdarik so i thought i wont' go there (laughter) take the neuroscience, we know so much now about what is going on inside people's heads when they learn but it doesn't seem to be getting through into the classroom to give you three facts about neuroscience that you might not have known It takes between 20 & 30 years to a human brain to mature So when you've got a 10 year old and you say "grow up" what does that mean You are acting childish you are acting adultish (laughter) You know when we say act your age what we are really saying act my age but children are not mini "me"s they are not little versions of us walking around, they are a working progress it takes about 25 years for the brain to mature you can't be... a direct quote from a colleague of mine Companies who consult in paedriatric neurologist "You can't be older than your brain" you've got a 12 year old has an emotional maturity of a 10 year old they are a ten year old Work with them as a ten year old to bring them on as opposed to lumping everybody together by their birthdays. Third one, there is a 2-3 year spread in terms of where children are at in their developmental maturation process within the brain Even though they've got the same birthday but again since history of education we learn children together by their birthday why, it sort of happened that way. but there is a 2-3 year spread and maybe we did so much damage to the children putting them through the inappropriate system inappropriately we don't get to 25 intact right, we know that from the neuroscience. HOw is the neuroscience impacting on the way we are designing education system and the way we are putting schools together. so education, neuroscience, technology My latest work is going to be "why do i need to teach you when i've got, when i've got google." alright, when i've got the internet. if the teacher's job is just to teach the subject as opposed to the child not is she being democratized, my youngest has accessed all the knowledge in the world at her fingertips standing in a field, updated you know daily remotely on a PDA or an iphone if she wants it. so knowledge is being democratized. Knowledge is out there. what is yet to be democratized the way i see it is learning. So if we've got teachers who can teach children how to find knowledge and how to know good knowledge from bad knowledge that 1% the layer was talking about that makes a difference what to do with it when they get it. How to be creative without memorizing key elements of it and how to synthesize and use it. and develop their emotional intelligence and their social intelligence and their creativity and communication skills the things computer can't do yet Powerful role for the 21st century teacher but drip feeding stuff from my brain to your brain there is a different model available to us. And i encourage teachers in the UK to go to tutor vista tutorvista.com It is an indian company established a few years ago for something like, equivalent to $90 dollars a month I've got three children one sort of in a primary level education One at secondary level education And one in University They are all in their 20s i just keep them there for research (laughter) i can get to them a limited access for an academic tutor someone in india with a headset on it is a Skype call doesnt cost anything English speaking. They work on the same virtual but a paper and a computer something like $90 a month, unlimited access as much time as they would like. tutorvista.com AQA In the UK, AQA stands for two things Assessment and Qualification Alliance. It is an exam board The old fashion model Why do we have exams? Exams, why do we have them Oxford & Cambridge and industrial revolution students and undergraduates used to talk their way into their degrees with the masses watching from the balcony deciding who were the clever ones. There was so many who were gotten to write their answers down and do it in silence That is why we have the written exam So you've got AQA exam board, and you've also got AQA any questions answered. For a pound. You know a couple of dollars I can text a question and within a minute i've got an answer So you've got the old fashion model, you can see how clever you are by how much information you can cram into your brain regurgitating an exam and forgetting it the following day Or the new model Well the knowledge is cheap. The knowledge is a pound. The knowledge is a couple of dollars How intelligent you are would be determined by what you do with that knowledge That sort of technology. This stuff that we've touched on today as well We've designed in the UK a teacher free, content free learning - bit of a - software One of the reasons we did it was because schools were fed up having supply teachers substitute teachers In the UK, i'll translate it into dollars even though it just doesnt sound real. 1.27billion dollars a year is spent on supply teaching Substitute teaching in the UK Multiply that across the world, it is just a waste alright, so we found out what using a technology a way of avoiding that The technology is there, the question is the willingness in the world of education And then with education So technology, neuroscience and then the education part And funks is just a simple little bit of getting kids to think for themselves so their brains "hurt" One of the questions i've put to a group to a group of children was Is there more future or past And what i find when i ask children questions like that some of them the "brighter" ones, the gifted and talented, the academically able one who are good at playing the game of guess what's in the teacher's head they say "i don't know" And i say "i know you don't know. Nobody knows. Tell me what you think" and they don't, they are not able to answer that question. but there is a difference between thinking and knowing One girl she said, there is more future. I said how come. She said, if you believe in the after life, it goes on forever i said ok what about if you don't believe in the after life she said, well it still goes on forever I said, so what are you saying is whether you believe in the after life or not it goes on forever. Is that right she went, "Yes" This lad next to me suddenly says "so what's the point of religion then" Woo.. Big question (laughter) from page of new scientist a couple of years ago: "what is the point of religion" Children are ready, and willing and prepared and are able to think profoundly and deeply at the end of one of these sessions, a thunks sessions with a group of kids they were 9 year old One lad came up to me afterwards and said "i've just realized how big life is" That is what education can do Thank you (applause)

Video Details

Duration: 15 minutes and 33 seconds
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: Giorgio Ungania
Director: Giorgio Ungania
Views: 109
Posted by: giorgiotedx on Jan 12, 2010

n the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations) Our event is call TEDxDubai, where x=independently organized TED event

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