Thomas Newpher and Ben Thier Deliver Talk at TEDxDuke 


Thomas Newpher, P&N Assistant Professor of the Practice, and Ben Thier, Neuro major (’20), delivered the first-ever TEDxDuke joint student-professor talk: The Changing Landscape of Higher Education, on February 8, 2020 at Reynolds Industries Theater at Duke University.

“It was the most humbling and fulfilling experience to end my senior year at Duke by giving this TEDx talk with my professor and mentor, Thomas Newpher,” Thier shared in a post on LinkedIn. “[In the talk] we discuss how our educational research can help transform the landscape of higher education with a shift to collaborative and team-based learning.”

Newpher and Thier worked together on the Collaborative Learning in STEM Bass Connections Team, the goal of which was to determine the impacts of collaborative learning on course-related behaviors and enthusiasm for course content in undergraduate STEM classrooms at Duke. Thier, a graduating senior, has been accepted at the Stanford Graduate School of Education where he plans to use his Neuroscience background to shape a career in the learning sciences.

TEDxDuke 2020, titled (un)familiar, provided a broad theme for speakers to challenge widely held beliefs about familiar topics. The event welcomed speakers from the Duke community with unique perspectives and novel approaches, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the Durham community, whose work embodies TED's mission of ideas worth sharing.

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.