Reforming Education: Top Ten Teaching and Learning Speakers
From boosting economic growth, to living healthier and happier lives, the benefits of education are rich and plenty. Lavin’s Top Ten Teaching and Learning Speakers address how we can reform our public institutions, deepen our knowledge, increase productivity, and ultimately, achieve more success.
With a New York Times bestselling book and Viral TED talk under her belt, psychologist Angela Duckworth has become highly sought after teaching and learning speaker. Her speciality is grit, which she defines as unique combination of passion and perseverance, or the tendency to “live life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” In talks, she reveals why cultivating character is more crucial than talent when it comes to reaching our full potential.
In his first book, How Children Succeed, Paul Tough challenged the assumption that intelligence is the sole predictor of a child’s success in school and in life. In his second book, The Years That Matter Most, the bestselling author leads a dynamic inquiry into higher education—namely, does college really provide the opportunities it claims to for its students? A brilliant speaker who dares to challenge the status quo, Tough outlines the creative solutions we need to overhaul our nation’s education system.
The Khan Academy started as a passion project for its founder Salman Khan, who began the venture by tutoring his cousins and friends for fun. Now a non-profit school boasting more than 62 million users across 190 countries, The Khan Academy seeks to provide free, accessible, and world-class education to anyone, anywhere. In talks, Khan—an in-demand teaching speaker—tells the story of how the academy blossomed, sharing his revolutionary vision for the future of education in the process.
Anthony Jack rebukes the assumption that all disadvantaged students who arrive at elite schools automatically thrive. Once a low-income, first-generation college student himself, Andrew Jack is now an Assistant Professor at Harvard and author of The Privileged Poor. Despite his personal success, Jack’s landmark research reveals a troubling trend: elite schools fail to properly care for the few low-income students they let in. His revelatory education talks tackle the systemic change necessary for these students to reach their full potential—before and after graduation.
Success requires more than ability—it requires the motivation to keep going when the going gets tough. David Yeager is an authority on the psychology of persistence, studying concepts like the growth mindset (the belief we can adapt), belonging, and how to build a sense of purpose in the workplace. Yeager has been profiled by education speaker Paul Tough for the New York Times, and co-authored landmark grit-testing with Angela Duckworth. He is a well-respected leader in the field of education and his talks offer a social-psychological perspective to student success.
Elizabeth Green explores the hidden science behind the art of teaching in her New York Times bestselling book Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone). She studied the nation’s best teachers to try and discover what makes them so great—and how we can implement their success across the country. Teaching is a skill like any other, Green contends, and it can be improved by investing in the right tools, training, and infrastructure. Her talks identify what’s missing in the classroom, and how we can bring it to light.
Science may concern itself with the facts, but the human brain evolved to love a good story—filled with drama, intrigue, and surprising plot twists. As a result, humans tend to learn better when teaching involves elements of storytelling. Evolutionary biologist and former host of Daily Planet Dan Riskin uses biological evidence to show us that passion is a crucial component of learning. Hilarious, charismatic, and with a contagious enthusiasm, Riskin’s teaching talks demonstrate his hypothesis in real-time.
John Elder Robison grew up with Asperger’s Syndrome, but remained undiagnosed until age 40. Now a leading voice on autism committed to improving the quality of life for those living with it, Robison champions neurodiversity in schools. As a teaching and learning speaker, he imagines an education system that is inclusive, and therefore more successful.
In his book Drop the Worry Ball, clinical psychologist Alex Russell explains how experiencing failure helps children develop a healthy sense of resilience and emotional stability. Unfortunately, he says, parents often try to cushion the blow of failure from their children, so by the time they reach college, they are largely unfamiliar with the concept. In his education talks, Russell explores how we can support our children without over-protecting them, and help ease their transition into post-secondary life.
The science of expertise shows us that peak performers aren’t born prodigious—they were once beginners with modest abilities. In his book Peak, psychologist Anders Ericsson reveals that purposeful and deliberate practice can improve anyone’s performance, no matter the discipline. His teaching talks not only bust the myth that genius is innate; they show us the importance of coaching and mentorship to success.