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Must-See Videos & Films

In another RSA animation, Dan Pink explores unexpected findings about motivation. How can this be applied to the challenge of motivating students?

This 2006 TED talk titled "Do Schools Kill Creativity?" lit a fire under the movement to revolutionize the way we educate our children. Just as relevant today as it was then.

This brief video interview with Howard Gardner, professor of educational psychology and a leading voice in education reform, touches on several essential questions related to student engagement, multiple intelligences, assessment, and school reform.

This TEDx talk by Diane Laufenberg answers the question why do we ask students to go to school if they no longer have to get the information there. Her answer: Schools should be about experiential learning, empowering student voice, and embracing failure.

This Richard Baraniuk TED talk shares Connexions, a project started at Rice University that cuts out the middlemen of textbooks and other textual resources, making them open-source and exponentially modifiable.

Recommended Sites

Cooperative Catalyst is a blog that features over fifty "passionate educators [who] challenge one another to propose sustainable solutions and structures for re-imagining schools and education, supporting one another to enact and refine the ideas."

This site doesn’t just present theories and ideas, but rather actionable solutions that can be implemented in service of a relevant education for American students who need to gain proficiency if not mastery of core subject areas while at the same time being prepared for the reality of future work.

This site by long time educator Marion Brady makes a case that what matters most is what does or doesn’t happen in learner’s heads, and that's determined primarily by the curriculum. No matter teacher skill, testing regimen, or technological tools, no matter buildings, budgets, or bureaucracies, if the curriculum is poor, instruction will be poor.

Design for Change shows what can be accomplished by a concerned, involved community effort. The focus is on getting students to make positive change in their communities.

The Kids' Science Challenge encourages competition for the purpose of real-world problem-solving. Students in grades 3-6 can "submit experiments and problems for REAL scientists and engineers to solve."

Recommended Reading

In Five Minds for the Future Howard Gardner examines the mindsets that will help us succeed. As one reviewer notes, "With this book, Gardner continues the work that has given researchers and practitioners alike an expanded view of human intelligence and potential."

Alphie Kohn, the author of Punished by Rewards, argues that our culture of rewards and punishment can be boiled down to "If you do this, you'll get that" and that this form of "pop-behaviorism" is counter-productive. He provides copious amounts of research related to teaching students, raising children, and managing businesses that supports his claim that we should be working to understand people, not manipulate them.

Drawing on stories from real classrooms and extensive research, Alfie Kohn shows parents, educators, and others interested in the debate how schools can help students explore ideas rather than filling them with forgettable facts and preparing them for standardized tests.

In this provocative and persuasive new book, Daniel H. Pink asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction--at work, at school, and at home--is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

"What happened to the pupils of Britain's most radical school?" That's the question this much anticipated book answers through interviews with fifteen of its alumni spanning from 1921 to 1995.