Five top TED talks

TED talks provide insight, inspiration and some very thought-provoking content.   Here are five talks that we think you might be interested in.

Your body language shapes who you are
Amy Cuddy points up that how you carry yourself provides unspoken messages to others.  This is particularly true of the classroom and of interviews.  This talk provides simple advice on giving the right messages.


Five ways to listen better
Listening properly to pupils is essential for understanding their understanding.   Listening is something we may take for granted.  Julian Treasure encourages us to consider how we approach this skill.


The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain

Ever wondered what is going on inside the adolescent brain, and why teenagers act as they do?   An illuminating talk by cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore provides some fascinating insight, and suggests that it provides real opportunities for learning.


Let’s teach for mastery – not for test scores

Salman “Sal” Khan, founder of Khan Academy, an organisation dedicated to providing a free, world-class education for anyone, considers the concepts of mastery and mindset.  His talk challenges conventional practice in schools.


Teach girls bravery not perfection

Reshma Saujani gives a talk challenging us to recognise how girls are socialised to be perfect, a trait which leads to students who are afraid to get it wrong. We should be teaching girls, as well as boys, to take risks.




Mantle of the Expert: an introduction by Paul Gibbins

paul gibbinsMantle of the Expert is a teaching strategy that gives children practice at real life situations through the creations of fictionalised scenarios.  It is particularly effective at engaging pupils in activities which give purpose to reading, writing, speaking and listening.  It offers numerous opportunities for assessment for learning and was highly commended by Paul Black as an effective teaching approach. It also allows for meaningful progression for MAT learners.

Core elements of the ‘Mantle of the Expert’ approach to Learning

Adapted from:

Heathcote, D. & Bolton, G. (1995). Drama for Learning: Dorothy Heathcote’s Mantle of the Expert

Approach to Education. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann USA

  • The learners gradually take on responsibility for running an enterprise in a fictional world
  • The learners care enough about the long-term goals of a fictional client that they engage in activities through which they begin to imagine the fictional world
  • Learners and teacher together:
  • interact predominantly as ‘themselves’
  • imagine that they are interacting as experts who run the enterprise
  • imagine that they are interacting as other people in the fictional world with whom the experts are concerned
  • Over time, the pupils engage in activities that at the same time are both curriculum tasks and that would be professional practices
  • in the fictional enterprise
  • The teacher must share power to position the students

(individually and collectively) as knowledgeable and competent colleagues and ensure that children position one another similarly

  • The children must reflect to make meaning.

For more information on Mantle of the Expert visit the website: