All over the world, there’s growing consensus that our education systems are broken. So how do we reinvent education? How can we create an education system that works for kids, instead of against them? How do we create an environment that motivates students to learn, that fosters creativity and curiosity, an environment where they like to be? 

If you are looking for inspirational education content and innovative approaches to education, then you are right here! Find here an overview of some of the best TED talks on education.

1. Do schools kill creativity? – Sir Ken Robinson

20:03 min – According to Sir Ken Robinson, the education system should nurture (rather than undermines) creativity. He talks about education and innovation and make the contention, that creativity is as important in education as literacy. Listen to his funny and entertaining talk.

If you‘re not prepared to be wrong, you‘ll never come up with anything original” – Sir Ken Robinson

2. The power of student-driven learning – Shelley Wright

15:44 min – Shelley Wright is a teacher and education blogger at Wright’s Room. In her talk, she talks about her previously conservative teaching style and how it changed to a student-driven learning approach. Very inspirational and authentic.

“My students learned to believe in themselves. They learned that they can make a difference. (…) Our schools need to be places that set kids heart on fire that they can figure out what they are passionate about when we give them opportunities to pursue it and that we can give them a place to make a difference now.” Shelley Wright

3. Kids, take charge – Kiran Bir Sethi

9:32 min – In 2001, Kiran set up her own school in Ahmedabad, India. The Riverside School established itself as a pioneer in the field of education. By now, the school is also a research center for school education. In her talk, she explains what they do at Riverside School.

“‘I can’t’…It’s a subversive message that on a daily basis our children get from the ‘system.’ It’s about the subtle-explicit instructions regarding their day-to-day learning when they are told to do ‘as instructed,’ with no room for creativity, choice, opinions.” – Kiran Bir Sethi

4. A short intro to the Studio School – Geoff Mulgan

6:15 min – Geoff Mulgan gives an insight into Studio School, a UK secondary school for 14-19 year olds where about 80% of the curriculum is done through real-life practical projects working on commission to businesses, NGO’s and others. It seeks to address the growing gap between the skills and knowledge that young people require to succeed, and those that the current education system provides.

“Teenagers learn best by doing things, they learn best in teams and they learn best by doing things for real – all the opposite of what mainstream schooling actually does.” – Geoff Mulgan

5. How I teach kids to love science – Cesar Harada

9:48 min – At the Harbour School in Hong Kong, Cesar Harada teaches citizen science and invention to the next generation of environmentalists.

“What was really cool about the project was that the students saw a local problem and they are trying to immediately address it.” – Cesar Harada

6. Every kid needs a champion – Rita Pierson

7:48 min – Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, reminds us in her talk how importance relationships and connections in school. She believes, kids don’t learn from people they don’t like and teaching and learning should bring joy.

 “Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be.” – Rita Pierson

7. What 60 Schools Can Tell Us About Teaching 21st Century Skills – Grant Lichtman

15:29 min – In September 2012, Grant set off on a solo, nationwide research tour to discover what schools are doing to prepare students for an evolving future. In this TED talk he shares his learnings from 3 months travelling visiting 64 schools in 21 states.

“In a permeable classroom, schools use their community and beyond to learn by using the resources, inspiration, and environment beyond the walls of the classroom to generate learning experiences that can’t be replicated in the school house.”- Grant Lichtman

8. Hackschooling makes me happy – Logan LaPlante

11:13 min – At age 9 Logan was put out of the school system for homeschooling. In this Ted talk, he explains how hacking his education (hackschooling) is helping him achieving his goals. The concept of hackschooling is that education, like everything else, is open to being hacked or improved, not just by working within the current system, but by going outside the educational establishment to find better ways to accomplish the same goals.

“Hanging out at The Moment Factory has inspired me to one day have my own business. The guys at the factory have showed me why I need to be good at math, be creative and get good at sewing.” – Logan LaPlante

9. Design Thinking — Maximizing Your Students’ Creative Talent – Co Barry

10:42 – When Coeylen Barry, founder and CEO of Createdu, first learned about Design Thinking as a graduate student at Stanford her first response was “Why didn’t I learn about this earlier?”.  After graduate school she made it her mission to bring design thinking to schools around the world. Design Thinking is a powerful approach to problem solving and supports schools in moving toward a more hands-and minds-on, challenge-based curriculum.

“For me it’s not just about getting kids to be successful in school and be excited in school, it’s about preparing them for afterwards.” – Coeylen Barry

10. School that work for kids – Eric Sheninger

15:18 – Learn about easy steps almost any school can take to make schools more student oriented. Sheninger touches on educational leadership, effective technology integration and student-centered learning to help students follow their passion and to foster creativity and collaboration.

“Now is the time for all of us to critically analyze our respective schools and take a stand against the status quo in order to do what is best for our students.”  – Eric Sheninger


This special is in support of the international campaign of MakeSense Berlin focusing on the cause of innovative education. Throughout November 2015, Make Sense directs their attention to disruptive and innovative educational initiatives that create powerful and real-world learning experiences in and outside classrooms. By organizing workshops, concerts and city tours they want to bring together students, teachers, experts, initiatives and all education innovators out there in order to create new opportunities to connect, exchange and experiment. Check out their website or Facebook page for more information and to view their event calendar.