ted fellows | October 10, 2012

Teach Students to Design Solutions: TED Fellow Juliette LaMontagne [VIDEO]

"Why [aren't] we asking students to do more than learn about the problem? They need to be part of designing the solutions," says TED Fellow Juliette LaMontagne in her TEDx talk. After teaching for many years, LaMontagne discovered that the traditional style of learning practiced in most schools could be radically improved. She constantly questioned why the diverse insights of young minds were not being tapped to their full potential, and why the typical classroom environment didn't provide them the opportunity to put their learning into practice. With this in mind, ProjectBreaker.org (a design-led, social entrepreneur program) was born. 

As the founder of the project, LaMontagne harnesses the power of interdisciplinary learning and creative collaboration to enact positive social change. In each twelve-week project, a group of 18-24 year-olds come together to turn unique concepts into businesses that address some of the world's most pressing problems. Rather than simply being told about social issues, participants are able to apply their learning to real-life scenarios. Not all of the participants are experts or have experience (although there are a team of industry leaders on board to help)—instead, it's the interactive and collaborative nature of the program that leads to results.

"At Breaker, we believe that designing solutions to big global challenges requires diverse perspectives and inputs," says LaMontagne. As she explains in her TEDx talk, this style of learning can drastically improve the education system. While she admits there are many other ways to promote the kind of deep learning that sparks innovative change, it's important to experiment with different learning styles and think outside of the realm of traditional classroom-based education. To create the next generation of innovators, we have to be innovative in the way we teach.

Up Next

social change | October 09, 2012