5 Great TED Talks About Child Development

child development TED talks

Raising a child can be one of the most difficult challenges that a parent will ever face. While there are many books on child development, none of these offers a perfect manual for raising each child. Raising children is a learning experience that changes as the child grows up. To learn more about how children develop, parents can check out the many videos on child development on TED.

Teaching Kids Math With Computers

Math is the only universal language that can be understood by everyone around the world. More importantly, mathematics is a vital skill set in the modern age. For some reason, children tend to lose interest in mathematics. In this TED video, Conrad Wolfram argues that children lose interest because of the way mathematics is taught in school. Instead of teaching children to solve boring equations, he wants to reinvigorate mathematics through computers and innovative teaching techniques.

The Child-Driven Education

Sugata Mitra makes an excellent argument in this TED talk. Teachers are a vital resource for students, but there are too few teachers focused on the poorest areas of the world. Through his research on education, Sugata Mitra discovered an important aspect of education. After placing a computer in a remote village, he found that children started to master the computer on their own within a few hours. Before long, they were discovering what RNA and technical terms meant in English instead of their native language. Through his research, Mitra has developed a model of student-centered learning that is driven by the child instead of a teacher.

The Linguistic Genius of Babies

Many adults speak just one language. While learning a new language takes years of study in school, babies are able to pick up a new language naturally from the people around them. According to research studies, babies are geniuses at learning first and second languages. In this TED Talk, Patricia Kuhl explores the linguistic abilities of infants and young children.

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What Do Babies Think?

The average person has probably never considered what a baby thinks. If they have, they may have just thought that nothing was going on in the baby’s mind. After all, a baby cannot speak, so it seems logical that they would be unable to form complex thoughts. In this TED talk, Alison Gopnik looks at the intriguing questions behind what babies think. From her studies, she has found shocking indications that babies do think and that their thoughts would be considered signs of genius if they were adults.

How Youth Thrive

Peter Benson has written more than a dozen books on child development, and he is considered a leader in the field of positive human development. In this TED talk, he looks at the way goals affect a child’s life. According to Benson, children need a spark of hope or purpose in their life to have a future. Only 25 percent of the 80 million children in the United States have a successful future ahead of them because they are the only children who have this spark. Benson believes that it is the role of parents and loved ones to light the fire of passion and hope in the child’s mind so that they are motivated to succeed.


Known for their exceptional innovation and creativity, TED talks are an excellent way for parents and teachers to learn about child development. In these five videos, leaders in the field of child development offer the latest research from the field. From innovative mathematics programs to child-centered learning, these talks offer an intriguing insight into the mind of a child.

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