TED Talks About Learning

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As Almost Doctors, we are learners. We spend countless hours at a desk memorizing information from a textbook. We sit in lecture halls and learn from professors. When we start clinical years as medical students, we don short white coats and learn from experience.

 

However, learning doesn’t just mean knowing. It is not the acquisition of knowledge, but the application of knowledge that is most important in medicine and in general. In the words of Albert Einstein, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” As we head back to school, let us not forget the true value of education.

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Here are some fantastic TED talks about learning, memory and knowledge that will broaden your perspective on being a student.

Do schools kill creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity

 

Kids, take charge

Kiran Bir Sethi shows how her groundbreaking Riverside School in India teaches kids life’s most valuable lesson: “I can.” Watch her students take local issues into their own hands, lead other young people, even educate their parents.

http://www.ted.com/talks/kiran_bir_sethi_teaches_kids_to_take_charge

 

A visual history of human knowledge

How does knowledge grow? Sometimes it begins with one insight and grows into many branches; other times it grows as a complex and interconnected network. Infographics expert Manuel Lima explores the thousand-year history of mapping data — from languages to dynasties — using trees and networks of information. It’s a fascinating history of visualizations, and a look into humanity’s urge to map what we know.

http://www.ted.com/talks/manuel_lima_a_visual_history_of_human_knowledge

 

Science is for everyone, kids included

 What do science and play have in common? Neuroscientist Beau Lotto thinks all people (kids included) should participate in science and, through the process of discovery, change perceptions. He’s seconded by 12-year-old Amy O’Toole, who, along with 25 of her classmates, published the first peer-reviewed article by schoolchildren, about the Blackawton bees project. It starts: “Once upon a time … ”

http://www.ted.com/talks/beau_lotto_amy_o_toole_science_is_for_everyone_kids_included

 

What adults can learn from kids

Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs “childish” thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups’ willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

http://www.ted.com/talks/adora_svitak

 

Teach arts and sciences together

 Mae Jemison is an astronaut, a doctor, an art collector, a dancer … Telling stories from her own education and from her time in space, she calls on educators to teach both the arts and sciences, both intuition and logic, as one — to create bold thinkers.

http://www.ted.com/talks/mae_jemison_on_teaching_arts_and_sciences_together

 

What we learn before we’re born

Pop quiz: When does learning begin? Answer: Before we are born. Science writer Annie Murphy Paul talks through new research that shows how much we learn in the womb — from the lilt of our native language to our soon-to-be-favorite foods.

http://www.ted.com/talks/annie_murphy_paul_what_we_learn_before_we_re_born

 

 Feats of memory anyone can do

 There are people who can quickly memorize lists of thousands of numbers, the order of all the cards in a deck (or ten!), and much more. Science writer Joshua Foer describes the technique — called the memory palace — and shows off its most remarkable feature: anyone can learn how to use it, including him.

http://www.ted.com/talks/joshua_foer_feats_of_memory_anyone_can_do

 

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sonal-kumar

Sonal Kumar

Sonal Kumar is passionate about combining science and storytelling. She has vast experiences outside of healthcare including marketing and advertising, print and broadcast journalism, including TV/radio production. Sonal is an alumna of Columbia University. She tweets @sonalkumar2011.