What do top students do differently? | Douglas Barton | TEDxYouth@Tallinn

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Douglas talks about the research on top students learning habits.

Douglas is the founder and Global Chairman of Elevate Education. Douglas and Elevate has spent the last 13 years benchmarking the practices of the highest performing students in order to identify exactly what drives student performance. Today, Elevate works with over 1200 schools across Australia, the UK, South Africa and the US in order to raise student and school performance. Douglas has been profiled in a series of books on Australia’s top and emerging leaders.​
Douglas on Elevate Education’i looja. Douglas ja Elevate on viimased 13 aastat uurinud heade tulemustega õpilaste harjumusi, et mõista, mis on nende edu võti. Täna töötab Elevate enam kui 1200 kooliga üle terve Austraalia, Suurbritannia, Lõuna-Aafrika Vabariigi ja Ameerika Ühendriikide, et tõsta õpilaste ja koolide taset. Douglast on mainitud ka Austraalia tõusvaid juhte tutvustavas kogumikus.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at




    Hassan Raza you didn’t

  • Dean Mülder


    Theyve always worked hard thus higher Iq and also work harder

  • Nitunga Elia


    work smart not hard

  • Jess Moron


    I have a little bit of motivation. I watch lots of YouTube videos but study a lot come exam time. My grades in exams are in between a C to an A.

  • Ryma2001


    I’m actually opposite of what it’s said here. I slack off, don’t study almost at all, don’t learn consistently but I still get good marks and great test scores. I mean of course not from every subject, few (especially the ones heavily relying on memorization) I have difficulties with, but I usually resolve this problem by finding a way to actually pay attention during the lessons. Usually, it’s through things like drawing or playing with my pen for example. These kinds of activities are way better than chatting or using your phone during the lesson, cause they keep you from getting bored but also don’t distract you from listening (I’d imagine fidget spinners can work as well, haven’t tested it tho).

    Instead of working hard at home I prefer to work hard at school. Why? First and foremost, I have to be in school. And if I already have to be there, I prefer to focus on learning during this hours, so I don’t have to repeat stuff at home. This gives me time to work hard on things that I actually care about. I’m usually not the top student because I have the best grades all the time, but because I start projects, work creatively (tho usually not efficiently) and put effort into what I *want* to do instead into what I *have* to do. Thanks to that I don’t waste my effort on projects that I know won’t be able to make much of, simply because I don’t care about them.

    Maybe this system of learning works only well in my country because it at least tries to encourage and reward being creative and independent (at least sometimes), I do not know.

  • Hassan Raza


    Me to me:Please just revise what you studied!!!!
    Me: I will.
    You know what happens next.

  • Steve McC


    Best students do not always translate into best solutionists.  We learn best when we do and teach.  I teach tech every day. Get the students active – while they’re solving problems and helping each other.  Even the most insecure catch on.

  • Luke Challies


    I have absolutely no motivation or work ethic or anything else. But I’m top of my class

  • Karen Skodshøj Kirknæs


    I hate to ruin this but some of us don’t need to practice to get high grades we just do because we’re smarter than the rest. I’ve never worked hard in school and never really done much homework but still, i get good grades.

  • Jordan Dell


    Work smarter not harder 🙂

  • 书本烈火的洗礼


    School is pointless

  • Ela


    i never practised. I HATED studying, i HATED school, i HATED learning. Ask anyone, my timetable was always everywhere, never studied, period. Dreaded going to school, barely listened, and learning was just a waste of time to me. Yet im a top student. I think it’s because im a quick learner and understand concepts easier, or simply have a brain that comprehends school torture better then others. I don’t know, i really don’t. I also think it’s because i do only what i want to do. I only listen to what im genuinely wanting to learn, only do things the way i want to. I let my mind have the steering wheel and go into my own world. I don’t necessarily believe everything this guy says. I do think a part of it really is a mind that is simply better at learning. Although i also believe that you can just study hard and get better grades. Some of it is natural ability.

  • Daniel4RealCuh


    I try hard work that doesn’t actually work it’s just stresses you

  • ZEREF!! !


    … ok???

  • Mike Dang


    If IQ is so irrelevant to a student’s performance, why did you waste so much time on its irrelevance instead of what IS relevant? What a waste.

  • Golden Mario


    I’m Going to a new school and the interview is tomorrow wish me luck im worried.

  • Silje Olsen


    Even though this guy is right in a way, it seems very concealed. Remember that since everyone is different, everyone learns stuff differently. E.g. for me, I get good grades by studying with a friend and discussing what we’ve learnt, by reading out loud and watching videos about the subject, and most importantly I need motivation. So find out what works best for you. If you don’t know yet, try studying in a way you’ve never studied before. Use your talents and things you like, to study. Maybe drawing what you need to learn helps, or maybe writing a little song. Improvise and do the opposite of what the school is teaching you which is be creative.

  • birdy 123


    I have a friend that is a top student in another school
    And I’m not a top student
    No offence to him I’m sure I have higher IQ
    But he does hard work doing what he needs to do
    He’s the top I’m not

  • Allen Jr.


    Thank you! I hope everyone watching this is successful with their studies and life.

  • roalikessleep


    I cram, don’t work hard and get higher than everyone else.

  • vikash mishra


    this is very very boring video i’v ever seen in TEDx

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