5 Education Reformers You Should Know

Today I’m talking about education reformers you should know. It’s important for homeschoolers to be connected to these educational trends and innovations–because we are part of society. We care about reforming and transforming the future of education. In fact, we’re blazing the trail and demonstrating how these reforms actually work.

Let's take a look at these education reformers you should know and their TedTalks. Each of them has important points that are relevant to homeschoolers, too!This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases thru the links will pay me a small commission.

Let’s take a look at these education reformers you should know and their TedTalks. Each of them has important points that are relevant to homeschoolers, too!

#1 Will Richardson

This TedTalk explores the disconnect between what we believe about learning and the practices we have established in schools. Our model of education needs restructuring. Will Richardson suggests that we start with what we BELIEVE about how learning works…and then align the practices to those beliefs. Many schools are starting to innovate and solve problems for real work and real life–engaging students and enabling them to learn more.

It’s important for us, as homeschoolers, to get a grasp on this too. If you graduated from the public school system like I did, we have to reconnect to what we believe about how learning works too. Our homeschools do not have to be (nor should they be) structured like the classrooms that we remember. Align your homeschool practices to what you believe about how learning works. Have the courage and commitment for real learning.

#2 Ken Robinson 

This TedTalk explores diverse, dynamic, and distinct intelligences. The structure and practice of our current education system favors one kind of intelligence. Many creative, brilliant, highly-talented people think they are not. Mistakes are stigmatized, so that creativity is stifled. Creativity is one of our greatest commodities…and we need it for the future.

I could listen Ken Robinson all day–partly because his accent is fantastic–but also because what he says is so profound. What he says about personalized and innovative education is so relevant to homeschoolers. We can let our students discover and develop their own passions, talents and intelligent capacity. He also is a fan of homeschooling.
Look for him on Netflix: Finding Your Element.

#3 Salman Kahn

This TedTalk explores the importance of mastery in learning. Traditional academic model moves students ahead at a pace of when and how long the student has to “get” the material. The assessment identifies gaps in the learning, but continues to build on those gaps. What students actually need to work at their own pace to work toward mastery.  Salman Kahn explains how the social structure is changing–how civilization is progressing.

As homeschoolers, we have the freedom to individualize the pace so that the student can master the concepts before moving ahead. Kahn Academy offers world-class education, free for anyone on this self-paced, mastery model concept. It’s a great resource for homeschools, Plus, we have many other resources are available too that we can utilize for personalized, self-paced for mastery learning.

#4 Anant Agarwal 

This TedTalk explores the importance of online courses in the future of education. Anant Agarwal has developed EdX–a MOOC (massively open online course) resource. Online courses expand education in a way that traditional classrooms can’t. Key components for successful online learning include: Active/Interactive lessons, self-paced for the individual, provides instant feedback, gamification for enjoyment and relevance, and peer learning/team work.

Homeschoolers can’t always find a local classroom opportunity for learning. So, online programs offer a great alternative. EdX offers online courses for free from the best universities. If you wish to get a verified certificate, then there’s a small fee. There are some instances where verified certificates can translate to college credits–though it’s not common yet.

Consider taking a course from edX

#5 Conrad Wolfram

This TedTalk explores how we teach math. We spend a great deal of time learning calculations–using paper and pencil even–when a computer can do those calculations for us. Conrad Wolfram wants us to connect math to the real world–and why we teach math. It’s more important to spend more effort on conceptualizing real world problems and applying solutions. If we can liberate math from calculating, we’ll change the world.

As homeschoolers, oh the struggle we have with math–higher math! What’s the point of algebra and calculus? But what if we can make math more practical and more conceptual? Consider utilizing computer-based math and do real world math instead of school math.  Wolfram Alpha offers free math computations to explore some of the things you could do with computer-based math computations.

We don’t have to compare ourselves to the school system–we don’t have to “keep up” with the standards. But, we are actually helping to set the trends for the future. There’s a revolution happening with innovations and reforms. We want to see these possibilities for everyone, in every school. Honestly, I think we’re on the cutting edge of the future.

Which of these education reformers resonates with you?
Let me know in the comments

About Kim Andrysczyk

Homeschool veteran, Association Director, coffee addict, sarcasm expert, and accidental blogger. I'm here to encourage you thru the tough times and inspire you toward excellence. If I can make it, so can you!