An Idea Whose Time Has Come: TED Talk Video

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An education idea whose time has come

Do you ever wonder why some of our biggest problems are never solved? Sometimes, it’s because the problem’s solution is so simple that people just don’t see it. As Victor Hugo once said, “There’s nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”

In this TED talk, I use the Hugo quote to underscore how education’s biggest problem can be solved with an idea whose time has come. That idea is eliminating traditional grades and replacing them with four simple words–Summarize, Explain, Redirect, Resubmit (SE2R).

Following are a few central points in the TED talk, which is embedded above.

  1. An idea can be so simple that it’s not even considered as a solution to a major problem. James Pillans invented the blackboard hundreds of years ago, completely revolutionizing classroom instruction while solving the problem of visual representation for a large audience–an issue that had stymied teachers for centuries.
  2. Traditional grades ignore personal issues that students bring to the classroom that can interfere with learning. Tori, a brilliant young writer, failed a standardized test–a traditional measuring stick that ignored the fact that Tori suffers from Dyslexia.
  3. SE2R creates a beautiful ongoing conversation about learning that eliminates the punitive nature of traditional grades.
  4. We have an opportunity to solve a monstrous problem–even bigger than the one James Pillans solved. And we can solve this problem with fours simple words.

Check out the TED talk video above and share your insights and questions in the comment section below. Please share this post and the TED talk video, so everyone you know can learn about this amazing idea whose time has come.

For more detail about SE2R and the no-grades classroom, pre-order Assessment 3.0: Throw Out Your Grade Book and Inspire Learning (Corwin, 2015).

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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