How to educate with Joy

18. July 2018

There are only a couple days left before TEDxPragueED 2018. This time we have will meet and discuss the topic of Joy. About what exactly will our brave speakers talk on the stage of ABC theatre? Well, we can promise you, that each of them found their way to Joy in their education and education of others. But such a way might look very different from person to person. And that is also something they want to discuss.

For example, not everyone is born and grows up with a tremendous passion for teaching. Look at Tomáš Hisem. He spent 20 years a miner and only after his mine was close, he rediscovered his long lost passion for education. He managed to study to become a programmer. And today he wants to encourage everyone, who thinks that they are a bit too old to start something new.

The path to education was also a bit longer for Marie Bukovjanová. Even though she wanted to be a teacher when little, life first threw her into a hotel management. So what is one supposed to do, when they feel like their career is not bringing them enough joy? If you are like Marie, you will find a way. She participated in a programme Učitel naživo and was one of the first people to graduate. Now she is a teacher, body, and soul. If you are interested in how a transformation from a hotel manager to a teacher looks like, come and ask her!

But to be fair, there are people that seem like they have been born to teach others. Jana Slezáková is one of those people. She knew she wanted to be a teacher since she was a little girl. So studying teaching at a university seemed like the natural choice. And she stayed at the university till today! But she also discovered Hejny´s method, which has been lately all over the news. Hejny´s method is an alternative to teaching mathematics and it has almost as many fans as it has opponents. Jana is one the big supporters of the methods and she even helps training new lectors. She also oversees teaching with the method in kindergartens and was there when an organization H-mat o.p.s. was founded. With this impressive resumé, it is hard to find someone with more love for the teaching of both kids and adults than Jana.

And we will stay with kids for a bit. Because sometimes the most important thing is not taught at school. And this is when David Bláha comes in to play. If you look at the sympathetic student of singing at Prague´s conservatory, you would probably not guess that he also founded School of Skate. In the school, he teaches young kids how to not fall from a piece of wood on wheels. He is trying to show to them, that skating is not only about who know the best tricks. It is mostly about freedom, liberty, and joy. In the scenery of Prague´s low-income neighborhoods, he is trying not to preach but rather show the way to mutual respect and motivation.

Our next guest also has a wide experience with children's education. Blogger Dad Buddy is a father of two and while raising his son, he felt like no matter what he is trying, there always seems to be more and more conflicts. That made him think deeply about how we treat children today. He went through a web of pattern and norms of behavior we push on to our kids trying to get to the bottom of this. The is how he found his way to parenting with respect. He is not trying to control his kids constantly. Rather he gives them their own freedom and responsibilities very early on. And then he blogs about his successes. He is also a member of an association called Freedom of Education. What do you think? Does this method work? Is it worth it? Come and ask him!

Children and parents are also the focus of Michaela Puchánková. Michaela brought her love for improvisation from Paris. Now she is trying to share this love with others. Even though she does courses for children and parents she also does not forget adults only lessons. Because she thinks that improvisation can teach us a lot. For example how to listen to others and let them shine. Michaela also says that in improvisation you are forced to bring mistakes to the mix. Because if you do not you will only play with fear and that is the least joyful thing imaginable. Mistakes are also the topic of Jan Kršňák. He claims that young kids are not afraid of making mistakes. It is something we are thought throughout our education. And when we do, it is very hard to get rid of it. Or not? This is what innovative schools are trying to do. They are showing that it is natural to make some mistakes and we can learn from them. So we probably should not worry about them so much.

Now we talked about education today. But have you ever given a thought to the future of education? How is it going to look like? Wil we self-teach ourselves thanks to videos? Or will we still meet our teachers regularly? These and other questions are on the mind of Michael Šebek. Michael is the professor of cybernetics at ČVUT, where he also leads research from companies like Porsche or Honeywell. His prize for a teacher of the year given to him by Siemens only shows that he is a true expert. And with all of his work he tries to also think about how technological advances will influence education in the future!

As you can see there is plenty to be excited about TEDxPragueED 2018. On 26th if July you can meet all of these brilliant people at ABC theatre in Prague. And we hope we will see you there. Because for learning with Joy, you also need a good company. But do not hesitate for too long, from the 500 tickets we only have a couple of dozens left.