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TEDxMonga - Kate Hsu - Introducing

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Hello everyone I’m going to conduct this speech in Chinese because I want my mom, who’s sitting there to be able to understand what I am about to say Okay. Let's start. The world will change when kids take action that’s my belief. Because I believe once kids are aware of the problems they will do everything to solve them Let’s see why. Well, it all started this March, one regular afternoon. I was having my lunch, randomly browsing through some featured talks on TED in the faculty room. As if destined, I found a speech that touched my very soul. It was titled “Teaches kids to take charge” and delivered by the founder of Riverside School in India, Ms. Kiran Bir Sethi. In Ms. Sethi’s 8-minute speech, she talked about Design for Change. It moved me to tears and I felt like I finally found the true meaning of education. What is Design for Change? Let’s take a look. In essence, it tries to bridge the gap between: “what students learn in the class, from teachers, from textbooks” and “students are making the changes in the real world.” For example, at school, teachers always tell us that we need to save energy and live a sustainable life, and or that you we need to respect the elderly. However, what the world needs is not only “knowing” the facts, but actually “doing” them. From awareness to action, it’s the leap that actually makes a difference, right? So Design for Change provides kids with an easy 4-step model and help them grow from “teacher told me” to “I’m doing it.” This is what Ms. Sethi and the whole core team of DFC Taiwan believe in. Actually, just “thinking about it” would not work, you’d have to actually “walk the talk,” right? So in May, we launched, Design for Change in Taiwan, and translated DFC as “When kids take action, the world will change” in Chinese. As you can see, after Ms.Sethi’s speech in November, 2009, though it’s only been a year or so, there are already 24 countries participating in Design for Change 2010, and Taiwan is a part of the movement! In total, there are 250 thousand kids worldwide participated and their efforts have made the world better. Let’s take a look at the stories we’ve got in Taiwan this year. The first story is called “Power & Hope of the Aborigines Restore Tsou’s 100-year-old Ballad -- Sakio” There are four 9th graders from one of the aborigine tribes of Taiwan, "Tsou." The kids found that they don’t know much about their own culture. They felt a huge cultural gap between the elders and the youngsters of Tsou. How can they change it? They actually came up with a creative idea! They went to the library and found one song: Sakio. Sakio means joy and happiness in Tsou language. Let’s take a look at how these kids revive their culture through singing the song. They visited their mother tongue teacher first. Unfortunately, she didn’t know how to sing the song and told the kids to ask the chief. Oops, looks like the chief forgot how to sing the song too. Well, there lives a madam, if she doesn’t know how to sing, then nobody can anymore! (Visiting the madam back in the tribe) The kids are practicing singing the song! (So… Are those songs they learned to sing older than 50 years? Or even older?) Chief: It’s about 100 years old! (How did you feel when the chief said there’s almost no one knows how to sing this song?) I feel very sad. We want to pass down the legacy! (Do you want to let more people know about the song through this activity?) Yes, we want to revive our cultural treasure! How did they do it? (Practicing singing the song) They even recorded the song in their cell phone and turned it into a ringtone, and shared it with their classmates via Bluetooth! (It’s the first time that so many of us gather up and sing this song, hand-in-hand together.) And then they taught 100 friends and elders from Tsou to sing “Sakio” in a week! (The first group of students that we taught in school.) (Taught our juniors to sing at study room) They even held a plate that has lyrics in the back. (The voices of my grandmother’s and uncle’s are so beautiful!) (The final section was finished by our elders.) After what we’ve seen, we know that the best way to preserve one’s cultures is to be a part of it, right? The 9th graders even told us that they have learned more songs and replicated the process over and over. Now let’s take a look at another story, from Taipei city. They are the students from the Experimental Elementary School of National Taipei University of Education, their story is called: “PK with the Elderly)” The problem they discovered was the loneliness of the elderly in the bustling city life. However, the kids and the elderly somehow lacked a common “language,” so even when they wanted to spend more time with the elderly, they don’t know how to communicate with them. How can they solve this problem? They thought about what they are good at: playing games on computers! So they designed simple computer games for the elderly to facilitate interaction. Let’s see what happened! Bow & greeting: Hello grannie! Xin Rui: If you move the mouse, the cursor moves too, did you see that? Then you pick a position and click on the mouse, the ball then flies! Now the kids are teaching the elderly how to play the games they designed. They taught the elderly one on one. (Teacher: How was Jai Qian’s teaching?) Grandpa: He was a good teacher! Jai Qian, how many points did I score? Jai Qian: 20 thousand! Grandpa: 20 thousand, haha! Grandpa: I’ve never played these games before, this is my first time. It is so much fun! (Did you encounter any difficulty?) Grandpa: After they showed us the ropes, it’s a piece of cake. (Our biggest reward would be the smiles on the elderly’s faces!) Jai Qian’s: With our help, the elderly became happier, and we felt a sense of achievement as well. Xin Rui: I know sometimes the elderly found it hard to control the cursor, but I believe they can do it eventually! For example, I just taught a grannie, who, in the beginning, didn’t know how to play at all, but afterwards, she got better and better, and in the end, she not only scored but also passed all the levels! They’re good, aren’t they? The kids not only bridged the communication gaps, but also learned to reaffirm the elderly’s effort and ability, saying: I believe they can do it! So from their beautiful story, we also know that once we have a common “language” and spending some quality time with each other, no matter what your age is, you will never be lonely anymore. Here comes the last story. It’s called: I Want to Feel Your Face—You Are Not Only a Voice to Me Anymore. The kids are from that Experimental Elementary School and Taipei Municipal Jen Ai Junior High School. These kids have one mutual friend, Jack, who is visually-impaired. Jack has always wanted to “see” his friends’ by touching their faces but he is too shy to express his wishes. So Tuo Ye and his friends started to help Jack realize his dream. Tuo Ye guided Jack to express his thoughts by sending handmade “face-touching” invitation cards to Jack’s close friends. Now let’s see how this activity worked wonders! Jack: My hands are my eyes. I want to “see” how the people that have always been around me look like. Please let me touch your face. Tuo Ye: These are my eyes, my nose... Tuo Ye: How do you like this activity? Jack: I like it very much! I hope it can continue! Surprisingly, this is Jack’s first time touching his mom’s face! (How long has it been since the last time you touched your mom’s face?) Jack: Since I was born...Well, I’ve never touched her face before! (Really?) Jack’s mom: That’s true! Because I didn’t think it was necessary! And then Jack touched the face of his English tutor. After this activity, they also printed 200 extra cards sent to the Cultural & Educational Foundation for the Blind, hoping that they could help more visually-impaired people to shorten their distance with others via this meaningful activity. This is such a considerate action, don’t you think so? Their story has moved lots of people in Taiwan to tears, too. Alright, actually, the motto of DFC, which is, “When kids take action, the world will change.” seems like a simple idea. Yet, even when I was a teacher in senior high school, now as the co-ordinator of DFC Taiwan, I had doubts about my students‘ potential, too. I realized that kids only need two things from us to make a difference: an opportunity, and the firm belief that they CAN make a difference. And then when all of us put the common sense into common practice, kids will automatically learn three things that they won’t learn in class First, they will become more confident. Second, they will have empathy towards others. Finally, they will have the ability to solve real-life problems. These are the best things we could ask of them. So, I believe that “When kids take action, the world will change,” and you? Thank you.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 36 seconds
Country: Taiwan
Language: English
Views: 177
Posted by: tedxmonga on Mar 31, 2011

Shortly after qualifying as a teacher, Kate learned about a program in India called Design For Change and was so excited by it that she launched the local version here in Taiwan. As the movement gathers pace, and Kate finds herself leading a revolution, she shares her experiences and her excitement with TEDxMonga.

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