Christian Long

Adora Svitak: What Adults Can learn from Kids

In TED Talks on May 28, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Extra credit reflection by SYLVIA A.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Adora Svitak:  What Adults Can learn from Kids

Adora Svitak just showed the adults who’s boss. I was blown away by her talk and her presentation. Her vocabulary was outstanding and the way she carried herself on stage was so fluid and natural, it really surprised me. I was quite jealous of the ability she possesses that I am just now trying to develop.

Yes she is a proclaimed child prodigy, but what child wouldn’t be nervous going up on stage in front of an audience of adults who are automatically biased and judge her based on her age.

Age is the key factor in this talk. It’s the deciding factor on whether or not you will be taken seriously by the world. Most things kids do are pushed aside, unless it is an assignment or has specific guidelines set by an authority figure. Creativity and imaginative thinking is great in art class but once there is a possibility of their ideas actually needing to stand with some credence in the real world, adults jump to the conclusion that they are not good enough. Why is this?

Well Adora explained it beautifully. The lack of trust that exists between teacher and student is evident when you look in classrooms across the globe. It’s not only in classrooms, it’s seen in the home too. Practically anywhere where there is a child being taught by an adult figure with more precedence this trend is happening. Adults don’t expect much from children so they confine them to learning one specific subject in one standard format. There is no exploration beyond the realms of a textbook. This is the great danger of our education system because once the grown-ups stop caring, so do the kids.

There is a key motivational factor missing here in this equation and once it is established adults and teachers alike will see a huge change in the learning environment. Kids can do extraordinary things when they are given trust and support. Without those two things the relationship between adult and child remains stagnant and unfulfilling.

I think everything Adora said is true. I also believe that adults can trust her more because she is an example of the great feats that can be accomplished when kids are allowed to step outside the boundaries of their low expectations and reach for what is possible.

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