Math isn't hard, it's a language | Randy Palisoc | TEDxManhattanBeach

  • Published on Dec 6, 2014
  • This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Is 26% proficiency in math acceptable to you? That's the question teacher and Synergy Academies Founder Dr. Randy Palisoc asks the TEDxManhattanBeach audience. With only 26% of U.S. twelfth graders proficient in mathematics, Randy shares his solution: teach math as a language. Putting words back into math lessons enables even the youngest school-age minds to grasp complex concepts, such as fractions, that are traditionally thought of as abstract and difficult to understand. In his stunningly simple and effective approach, math no longer creates problems for kids but solves them.
    Randy Palisoc is a passionate educator, known for making math easy. A founder of the five-time national award winning Synergy Academies, Randy is proud to identify Synergy as an “in spite of” school. In spite of the fact that its students were disadvantaged and in spite of the fact that it did not have its own facility and had to pack up its classrooms every single week, his school was the first and only elementary school in South Los Angeles to ever win the National Blue Ribbon Award, and was named the #1 Urban Elementary School in America in 2013.

    Seeking a broader impact, Randy left Synergy this year to start Ironbox Education. One of the ways he believes we can dramatically improve America’s schools is by doing a better job teaching math to our students in a way that makes sense to them. Randy believes implementing a few changes in the way we approach math will give students the confidence and thinking skills to be more competitive in a global economy.

    Favorite TED Talk: “My Invention That Made Peace With Lions”: Richard Turere

    The “Game Changer” he most admires is Steve Jobs, because he had the ability to envision things we did not even know we needed or wanted.

    About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, 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.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Comments • 2 513

  • GreatestGulag
    GreatestGulag 3 days ago

    what if you have dyscalculia...

  • altqwet
    altqwet 3 days ago

    wtf u laughin at dumbos? wat a weird audience

  • David Farah
    David Farah 4 days ago

    Yes and now explain scalar product and functions

  • DeAngelo Brown
    DeAngelo Brown 5 days ago +1

    We all know the homework and tests are not this easy

  • gacha alphayt
    gacha alphayt 11 days ago

    Can he be my math teacher

  • Long H Chau
    Long H Chau 14 days ago

    This is a roundabout way of saying math is hard because of these gatekeepers we have for professors and/teachers

  • Michael Hoefler
    Michael Hoefler 16 days ago

    Ok now show us some calculus

  • Jinto117
    Jinto117 17 days ago

    Nah, you are either born with high IQ or average IQ. There is so much we have yet to discover about our own brains.

  • Valentin Botezatu
    Valentin Botezatu 17 days ago

    This guy - genius! Love it!

  • kadir kamalak
    kadir kamalak 19 days ago

    I thought it is philosophic talk but it is a bad talking it so minute👎

  • freedom fighter
    freedom fighter 25 days ago

    Ask 5 year old , one third +one fifth

  • holly downs
    holly downs Month ago

    Is this why we have an oligarchy and we do not have democracy ?

  • Cian097
    Cian097 Month ago

    Arrest this man, he talks in maths.

  • nasachusetts
    nasachusetts Month ago

    Not hoarding away profit in offshore banks isn't hard either. This guy hates women and children.

  • Souhardya Dutta
    Souhardya Dutta Month ago

    if maths is a language then linguamarina should teach maths

  • Pokemon Trainer
    Pokemon Trainer Month ago

    Laws of nature are written in the language of physics not mathematics!!

  • Praise The Sun
    Praise The Sun Month ago

    Mathematics is made up brah😜

  • Christina Gacha
    Christina Gacha Month ago +1

    The questions u learn during math class:
    Ethan and Jason both have 1 apple, how much apples do they have together?
    The questions on ur homework:
    Ethan has 2717 apples, Jason has 274628 apples, how much apples do they have together?
    The questions on tests:
    Jason has 5 apples, Ethan has 8 apples, what’s the temperature of the sun?

    • Iris
      Iris Month ago

      5.778 K

  • Trigno
    Trigno Month ago +1

    A language is hard though

  • Kat Lover
    Kat Lover Month ago

    I HATE MATH!!except division and multiplication

  • Kat Lover
    Kat Lover Month ago +1

    Math is mental abuse to humans.Hours of our energy wasted on random knowledge

    • suna92
      suna92 Month ago

      by math you mean calculus or what? hey, know one's FORCING you to learn math at an advanced level you're doing it upon yourself.

  • mohamedsafwt attar
    mohamedsafwt attar Month ago

    Math does not follow a spicific method and it requires to think a lot and I am obviously considering IB Hl 😂

  • mohamedsafwt attar
    mohamedsafwt attar Month ago

    Math is not hard, it is convoluted!!!

  • NCG
    NCG Month ago

    Heres the problem, Math Teachers tell us to solve an a equation without telling us what to even do.
    Thats like giving someone something without telling them what its for.

  • yoshi_drinks_tea
    yoshi_drinks_tea Month ago

    This is one of the best speeches of TED I have ever heard and seen. Education is really importent and should be taken more seriously like Finland.

  • g'day mate i'M bAnG cHaN and i'M FeLiX

    my math teacher has a daughter in 1st grade and he teaches her algebra 🤓

  • Sophia Arenas
    Sophia Arenas Month ago

    I’m procrastinating rn and I have an algebra formula test tmr

  • megatrook
    megatrook Month ago

    okay so i agree with everything except when you say that knowing the times tables is necessary. that's unfortunately taught as memorization. you dont need to learn the times table, you just need to know how to multiply two numbers together

  • rishav
    rishav Month ago

    the most awkward thing about a ted event is when they pause for applauds.

  • TheCosmoBros
    TheCosmoBros Month ago +1

    The problem is making trigonometry and calculus as understandable language with this approach

  • SickSider 14
    SickSider 14 Month ago

    All of this just flew over my head

  • Visualize CJNG
    Visualize CJNG Month ago

    Untill you get to partial differential equations...

  • MyKrabi
    MyKrabi Month ago

    Thank you so much for this amazing talk! What a wonderful and passionate teacher!

  • LadaSoda Explains
    LadaSoda Explains Month ago +1

    fractions are foundational to…… (skip some words), even to calculus.
    I can't agree no more. almost failed calc because I slept through some 6th grade and elementary school lessons

  • Darko Bakula
    Darko Bakula Month ago

    Taught myself math, already know it's just a language but so much was skipped in school. And writing units is crucial when doing something complicated.

  • Muhsin Mohammed
    Muhsin Mohammed Month ago +1

    How did he solve the last quistion?

  • unOrdinary Replica
    unOrdinary Replica Month ago

    I hate fractions

  • small pupper
    small pupper Month ago

    it's hard because you expect us to learn it in ten seconds then move on to the next lesson without any help. I only learned because I had a teacher lucky enough to understand that I hated math because I was always horrible at it.

  • oshonic man
    oshonic man Month ago

    Maths is language y people understand harder

  • P_Heinel
    P_Heinel Month ago

    So this why 2015 in back to the Future 2 is different than our 2015

  • Kenny Arias
    Kenny Arias Month ago

    0:44 joke missed

  • dlikescheese
    dlikescheese Month ago

    After taking calculus 1, calculus 2, calculus 3, and engineering math and getting A’s in them I still don’t understand why. I think that’s the problem with school. When you learn things on your own the mystery and exploration alone allows it to make sense

  • Melvin Soto Vázquez
    Melvin Soto Vázquez 2 months ago

    And then it goes like “if I have 7 apples and 9 watermelons, what’s the square root of the mass of the Sun?”

  • Nikola Hekma
    Nikola Hekma 2 months ago

    Who are the current idiots writing bad math practises and who elected them to publish today's books -- this is what i want to know!

  • Murad Mahir
    Murad Mahir 2 months ago

    Thank you very much, i was need that video for sure. 😍

  • Faeboc
    Faeboc 2 months ago

    Anyone can be a teacher but few have the skill to teach. Educate the teachers and you educate the students.

  • David Castano
    David Castano 2 months ago

    It’s a cool thought but it’s not always that simple, if that x2+x2 was an x2+x3 she would’ve been wrong

  • Areeba Habib
    Areeba Habib 2 months ago

    I still freaking hate math

  • Ali Majeed Ms Math
    Ali Majeed Ms Math 2 months ago


  • Xavier Chan
    Xavier Chan 2 months ago

    Of course I like this idea. Except, math is hard. Do this instead, and you’ll see the irony that my children will tell you they wish you hadn’t made them. We are legion.

  • miorgr
    miorgr 2 months ago

    I expected this video to teach me something new but from the start I calculated this way, so I don't know how they are teaching in the USA, but it's weird for me not to learn like that...

  • BluezZ
    BluezZ 2 months ago

    1 apple + 1 pencil = 2 appcils?

  • Jp 23
    Jp 23 2 months ago

    Galileo was clearly wrong
    See one example might be love
    Some might say it’s infinity
    But I think it goes
    Even further

  • س Vague
    س Vague 2 months ago

    This theory talked before in ted x bandung in indonesian leangue 2011

  • Mel W
    Mel W 2 months ago

    He is speaking my language. I wish I had him as my Math teacher when I was in school. I wouldn't not be struggling in college.

  • Fur Biscuits
    Fur Biscuits 2 months ago

    This isn’t near what kids are learning now days he only talking about simple math. I totally disagree that you can use his little apple + apple method on complex algebra and geometry equations.

  • Nikki Nguyen
    Nikki Nguyen 2 months ago

    Indeed, now that I think about it, it's true and that if we don't think of it that way it'll make the process of teaching them mathematics more difficult for teachers and for students to effectively understand. Especially when it comes to complex processes, if they don't understand the fundamentals, they will continue to struggle throughout all of their mathematics education.

  • goncalocard
    goncalocard 2 months ago

    Nope, some people are just uncapable of understanding math.

  • 15thsquadron01
    15thsquadron01 2 months ago +1

    I'm not giving up on Math. I'm going back to College.

  • Krishna Kumar
    Krishna Kumar 2 months ago

    This is one of the stupidest video shared on the basis of subtitle captioned on video. They could have told how children reacts to their imagination. Indeed we got nothing useful. 👎🏻

  • 42whiteblack Colors
    42whiteblack Colors 2 months ago

    Sad that it has been 4 years since this video has been posted and school system has not changed fast enough with this fast paced world.

  • niko 155254
    niko 155254 2 months ago

    btw I`m Indonesian and I`m wonder if math is that much hard for you guys. cuz I learn multification and distribution at 7yo

  • niko 155254
    niko 155254 2 months ago +5

    your approach is good, but you have to remember that there is people who are bad at abstracting nuber and word. I believe there is another approach.

  • aasy jepale
    aasy jepale 2 months ago +1

    average joe: english is a language
    randy palisoc: math is a language
    chris langan: the universe is a language

  • Rajeev Bhardwaj
    Rajeev Bhardwaj 2 months ago

    Just see the maths section of IIT JEE and you will definitely forget that maths is a human language

  • Justin Sorensen
    Justin Sorensen 2 months ago

    One very misleading thing in this presentation that I have to call out is the fact that for the fraction why would a 6 year old assume not to add 3 and 3 on the bottom?

  • mntchannel
    mntchannel 2 months ago

    The standard is not supposed to be read by the kids. You want them to write apples and oranges in the specification of the standard? Really?

  • Justin Alan
    Justin Alan 2 months ago

    Essential!!! Thank you so much!

  • Muhib Afridi
    Muhib Afridi 2 months ago

    I subscribed

  • D Caf
    D Caf 2 months ago

    Then you get to calc II and everything collapses

  • Tips and Tricks
    Tips and Tricks 2 months ago

    Subscribe me for diffrent math tricks.

  • poopity scoop
    poopity scoop 2 months ago

    I keep getting 45's on my tests yet I still have a 80 something

  • Milutinovic Petar
    Milutinovic Petar 2 months ago +40

    My biggest issue with math, every single time i tried to learn it, was with the teacher briefly but not sufficiently explaining the concept with a basic example and then speeding to a much more complex one without warning. Blew my mind every time

  • Hanna
    Hanna 3 months ago

    apparently I’m fluent in everything but math

  • Abdi Goodwin
    Abdi Goodwin 3 months ago

    Obviously he’s niece were Asian so 😂

    ADITYA BOSE 3 months ago +1

    Happy Pi Day...

    ADITYA BOSE 3 months ago

    I can memorize 1500 digits of Pi..
    See my RU-clip channel...

  • XxSaiko SanxX
    XxSaiko SanxX 3 months ago +6

    9 plus 10 is 21 cuz
    When you turn 9 upside down it shows 6 if you turn 10 its 1. 6 plus 1. 7
    If you turn 7 it says L. L is 12th
    AND if you turn 12 its 21

  • mel saint
    mel saint 3 months ago

    Pilipino ito. Medyo awkward pag sinasabi niya "as a country". Tangina bumalik ka sa Pilipinas tapos saka mo sabihin yan. America is fine even if madaming bobo sa kanila.

  • New World
    New World 3 months ago +6

    My favourite subject is math

  • Phoenix
    Phoenix 3 months ago

    I once hated fractions, I then realized how useful they were for retaining an accurate calculation and how much they reduced unnecessary decimal points. In my opinion, they keep irrationals clean just as radicals do.

  • burnt f1ames
    burnt f1ames 3 months ago

    Now explain the quadratic equation with this

  • Derrick Hale
    Derrick Hale 3 months ago

    1 tooth
    + 1 tooth
    2 tooth

  • Giuliano Trokas
    Giuliano Trokas 3 months ago

    I’d rather learn this guy’s native language than maths

  • Mamta Vadodaria
    Mamta Vadodaria 3 months ago

    Maths is a beautiful language 😍😍

  • General Tech
    General Tech 3 months ago


  • hijodelcaribe te abraza

    Great!! Good video

  • 15thsquadron01
    15thsquadron01 3 months ago +2

    Math is hard for me. I always wanted to succeed in Math.

  • al ex
    al ex 3 months ago

    but sum languages are hard tho

  • Krishanu Chatterjee
    Krishanu Chatterjee 3 months ago

    Indian childrens has more fun while learning mathematics, because we have sorosh sutro ar troyodosh upo sutro. 😛😛

  • Theo Pot
    Theo Pot 4 months ago +1

    maths are simple, as long letters are not get invloved ...then it gets messy and the pain starts

  • Surprised Pikachu
    Surprised Pikachu 4 months ago

    Omfg 7:12 the thing he explaing about 7x3 i figured it out in the 4 grade.
    But i called it as.
    "Multiplication makes addition easier"
    Which is so true....

  • Surprised Pikachu
    Surprised Pikachu 4 months ago

    Omg The the definition of Maths as a language is so perfect actually i came up with it like few months back i am really proud of myself that i am on the right track.

  • Ylli Morina
    Ylli Morina 4 months ago

    This is Sids from"ice age" lost adopted asian brother

  • Dreaming Warlord
    Dreaming Warlord 4 months ago

    The only place that an athletic can run 200 meters in 4 seconds.

    *Based on a true story*

  • Medea Bogveradze
    Medea Bogveradze 4 months ago

    I hate math anyway

  • All Mango
    All Mango 4 months ago +1

    Idgaf screw math!! 😫

  • René Henriksen
    René Henriksen 4 months ago +19

    The problem with math is that it´s taught in an unemotional way soulless way. It becomes uninspiring because you as a student feel that it doesn´t speak to your heart and makes you rock and feel alive. If math was like true deepfelt love to a person people would definetely see it differently. We must admit that humans generally are more hot emotionalists than cold rationalists.

    • Yetzirah Mihael
      Yetzirah Mihael Month ago

      But math is not emotional, it is purely analytical.

    • MCLooyverse
      MCLooyverse 2 months ago

      In a math class, you're often tought the how without the why. Ok, cool, 2 * 2 = 4, but why is that, and why do I need it? Analogies between multiplication and rectangles are not only really useful as a learning aid, but later (namely in Calculus) it comes back to give a useful understanding for more things. But if you're not taught what multiplication *is* but just how to do it, you don't get that understanding.

    • Justin Powers
      Justin Powers 2 months ago

      @René Henriksen Exactly.

    • René Henriksen
      René Henriksen 2 months ago

      I agree. If math was taught with more rhythm and aliveness certainly it would appeal to more people. One could remember and understand much more if math was written in the same language as for example Tao Te Ching. Something that appeals to the heart.

    • Justin Powers
      Justin Powers 2 months ago +2

      Out of every single math teacher I've ever had, I can think of only 5 that were actually good, the best one was in a college math course. Most of the time, Math is just taught poorly by teachers instead of what it could be.

  • Ivan Buljan Van Boelken

    Math, a human language? What a load of old cobblers.

  • Spital Helles
    Spital Helles 4 months ago

    Math = language does not imply that difficulty(math) = easy, because e.g. difficulty(mandarin) = hard