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Home » Diana Laufenberg: Embrace Failure at TEDxMidAtlantic 2010 (Transcript)

Diana Laufenberg: Embrace Failure at TEDxMidAtlantic 2010 (Transcript)

Diana Laufenberg

In this TEDx Talk, Diana Laufenberg shares 3 surprising things she has learned about teaching — including a key insight about learning from failures.


Good afternoon.

Before I get started, I first have to say, hello, to all of my students who let me be out of school today. They’re staying late at school to watch the stream.

Hello to everybody out there in Philadelphia. I think they definitely deserve a round of applause.

Today, I’m going to tell you a couple of stories. I know I have a bit of a provocative title, I’ll get there, go with me. I have a story to tell you.

I have been teaching for a long time, and in doing so have acquired a body of knowledge about kids and learning that I really wish more people would understand about the potential of students.

In 1931, my grandmother – bottom left for you guys over here – graduated from the eighth grade. She went to school to get the information because that’s where the information lived. It was in the books; it was inside the teacher’s head; and she needed to go there to get the information, because that’s how you learned.

Fast-forward a generation: this is the one-room schoolhouse, Oak Grove, just down the road from where I grew up, where my father went to a one-room schoolhouse. And he again had to travel to the school to get the information from the teacher, stored it in the only portable memory he has, which is inside his own head, and take it with him, because that is how information was being transported from teacher to student and then used in the world.

When I was a kid, we had a set of encyclopedias at my house. It was purchased the year I was born, and it was extraordinary, because I did not have to wait to go to the library to get to the information. The information was inside my house and it was awesome.

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