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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Disrupting Education

The Big Idea for Thursday, October 03, 2013

Over 50 million children are left behind each year, in that they do not attend school. Perhaps twice that number are left behind in that they attend school but learn almost nothing. Then there is everyone else, and they're not doing much better either. Take America, for instance, which has a higher education system that is the envy of the world but a K-12 system that is an embarrassment to the world.

How do we fix this mess? In today's lesson, Vikas Pota points out that to fix the problem we have to measure it first, and the problem for Pota comes down to the quality of teaching in the classroom. So how can we attract the best teachers and retain them? Pota, the CEO of the Varkey GEMS Foundation, today on Big Think announces the release of the first comprehensive attempt to compare the status of teachers across the world.



  1. 1 Three Ideas, Backed by Half a Million Data Points, to Improve Teaching
    Big Think Editors Big Think TV
  2. 2 Gaston Caperton on Teachers’ Salaries
    Gaston Caperton
  3. 3 Differential Pay Scales for Teachers in Science and Math
    Lawrence M. Krauss
  4. 4 School superintendent to Governor: Please make my school a prison
    Scott McLeod Education Recoded

Disrupting Education

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