How School Makes Kids Dumb
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How School Makes Kids Dumb


Hey Thoughty2 here. In the southwest of China’s Sichuan province
sits a small village called Atuleer. Where the local schoolchildren must climb
an 800 metre bamboo ladder up the side of a sheer cliff face, just to get to school. The only school for many miles around sits
atop this rocky outcrop, there are no roads or pathways to the top, only this ladder. I bet your journey to school seems incredibly
benign in comparison. You may not have to scale a cliff face to
attend school, but the education you receive every day, or did once receive is just as
precarious and insufficient. Education is broken. Over the past 50 years the world has changed
beyond recognition, yet the school systems, in most countries have stayed static. Our current education systems were designed
and built in the industrial age, in some countries that’s as long ago as the 18th century. Sure there have been many subtle changes over
the decades but the basic goal of our school systems has remained exactly the same for
over 200 years. And what is that goal? To produce obedient factory workers. During the industrial era and right up to
the epoch of the 21st century, most people worked in manufacturing, either on production
lines, on farms or in mines. Where things like creativity and individuality
only get in the way of profits. Factory owners needed obedient drones in large
numbers and so many wealthy business owners invested large sums of money into lobbying,
to influence politicians to shape the school systems in the ideologies of said factory
owners. Putting values such as order and discipline
as top priority and making sure that creativity and individualism were quashed. Such lobbying happened mostly in America but
nevertheless, the school systems in most developed countries today are still built on the same
robotic and stale ideologies. And so kids today arrive at school nice and
early, not a minute too late. We are ordered to sit down in our pre-designated
seats, because god only knows what utter chaos would unravel if we were to sit where we pleased. We are programmed to respond to a series of
bells and whistles that signify when we are allowed to eat and leave. We have to ask permission to speak, to move,
to go to the bathroom. This used to be kind of okay, because this
forced obedience would carry over to the factory floor, which is where most people ended up,
right after school. But today, and for quite some time now, we
have been living in a world where most people can do whatever they desire for a career if
they try hard enough. I mean you can actually be a professional
bed warmer, a pet food taster or a Ravenmaster, yes these are all real jobs. The nature of jobs has changed drastically
and today we live in a world where qualities such as creativity, individualism and entrepreneurialism
are highly sought after by a lot of employers. Let me ask you a question, how come, if you’re
bad at English, Maths or Science you’re repeatedly told “you’re not trying hard enough”. Your work is scrutinised, your parents are
notified of your “poor performance”, you’re made to re-sit tests until you get it right. Yet if you’re bad at art, music or sport you’re
simply told “don’t worry, it’s just not you’re thing” despite these all being entirely valid
career choices. The huge fact of life that modern school systems
ignore is that everyone has their own unique talents and things they are really passionate
about. We’re all naturally good at something and
terrible at other things, whether that’s because of our genetics or upbringing. Some children are more creative whilst others
are more academic; we’re all unique. Albert Einstein supposedly wrote “Everybody
is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to
climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” The human brain’s ability and desire to learn
is astonishing. And yes it is possible for almost anyone to
learn anything, I’m not saying that every child shouldn’t learn mathematics because
every child can. But where most school systems fail is in bringing
out the best in every child and encouraging exploration of their natural abilities. But the really stupid thing is that schools
don’t even do a decent job of teaching English, Maths and Science, in fact they do a rather
terrible job indeed. Public education today is based on a system
of taking a bunch of information and systematically reciting that information to the students. Whom are later tested on their ability to
remember this information. And the key point here is that exams only
test a child’s ability to remember. So weeks before your exam you would recite
the same textbook information over and over again until you had near enough, the entire
textbook memorised. But what happens after the exam? You forget it all. Multiple studies have shown that children
and adults forget 95% of everything they learn via memorisation, after just three days. So an A* test score says no more about a child
than their ability to recite information, it is not a strongly correlated representation
of actual intelligence, that is the ability to acquire new skills by one’s own accord. This process of faux learning via memorisation
is known as inauthentic learning, because you aren’t actually learning, only regurgitating
information. Anyone can do that, it’s what I do for a living. So you ask, how does one learn authentically? How do we actually teach kids instead of asking
them to memorise? Well, we quite simply have to spark their
curiosity. Humans are unquenchably curious, as toddlers
we have to touch everything we see, stick our fingers in plug sockets and dismantle
everything. That curiosity never leaves us, it’s hopefully
why you watch my videos. When you allow children to become curious
about something they will actually teach themselves because they have a primal desire to find
out as much as they can. And the best part is that this self-curiosity-driven
learning is completely authentic and children will absorb that knowledge like a sponge and
most importantly, you can be sure they will remember it, because when we are engaged we
are happy and our brains naturally remember the times when we are happy. A great number of the world’s greatest thinkers,
its greatest entrepreneurs and history’s greatest leaders all share something in common, they
dropped out of school. Names such as Richard Branson, Quentin Tarantino,
Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Lennon, Walt Disney,
Tom Hanks, Coco Chanel, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Charles Dickens and Princess
Diana. Every single one of these successful and highly
influential individuals dropped out of school between the ages of 11 and 16. Now, I’m not promoting dropping out of school,
but illustrating a quality that all these people have in common, they were incredibly
passionate and curious about one particular thing. Do you really think they would have dropped
out of education if their school supported their true passion? No, these people all felt the same way, as
many young people do today, that school was only holding them back, slowing them down. Luckily these people were able to follow their
passions regardless of their education, but sadly, millions of children aren’t. Many young people could unlock their true
passions if the education industry focused on what they do best instead of everything
they’re not good at. But thankfully, today you can fulfil your
own curiosity. Thanks to technology we are now able to learn
anything we desire, with unlimited invaluable information at our fingertips. Self-education and discovery sites such as
Skillshare enable you to fulfil your thirst for becoming a better you, where traditional
education has failed you. Skillshare is an online learning platform
with more than 17,000 classes in design, photo and more. I didn’t go to university I instead used the
incredible resources available on the internet to teach myself the skills I needed to do
what I love. And by doing so I am have been able to fulfil
my passion of making videos and teaching others about incredible things. YouTube is my career and I’m so very grateful
that today we don’t have to rely on outdated traditional education systems to follow our
passions. Using Skillshare you can follow your passions
and turn doing whatever it is you love doing, into a career. A premium Skillshare membership gives you
unlimited access to thousands of classes from leading experts all around the world. So you can learn from the very best, and unlock
your true potential, in the comfort of your own home. If you have a passion that you would love
to turn into a career, then incredible Skillshare courses such as “Art of the Start: Turning
Ideas into High-Growth Businesses” are a great place to start. Or, say your passion is photography, you can
dive right into a course such as “Going Pro with Portrait Photography: How to Turn Your
Photography Hobby into a Job” to sharpen up your skills by learning from a real professional
and discover how to become a pro yourself. Since Skillshare is sponsoring this video,
the first 500 people to use the promo link in the description will get their first 2
months, completely free to try it out, risk-free. After 2 months it’s only $10 a month to watch
unlimited classes. But with two months free you have nothing
to lose and you could look back in a years time when you’re hobby has become your career
and be so thankful that you did. Now, there’s another fundamental problem with
school today and it’s not to do with what goes on in the classroom. I’m talking about sleep. When you start a job it’s generally accepted
that you will turn up at 9am or earlier every morning and this same time expectation is
put upon school kids all the way from primary school, to high-school, college and university. But there’s a deep-rooted biological issue
with that, which explains why when I was at school I spent at least 30% of my lessons
asleep at my desk. Our bodies are phenomenal time keepers, and
our subconscious is often well aware of the current time, even if your conscious mind
isn’t. You know how sometimes you wake up exactly
one minute before your alarm clock. This is because of your body’s circadian rhythm. This is our internal clock and it also determines
when is the best time for us to fall asleep and to wake up. But our circadian rhythm varies throughout
our lives. When we’re younger than 10 our bodies want
to wake up as early as possible but it soon gets later and later throughout adolescence. Between the ages of 14 and 24 our circadian
rhythm is set at the latest it will ever be in our lives and our natural desire is to
wake up later in the morning, for example, after 10am. There’s nothing we can do to fight this urge. Recent studies have shown that forcing teenage
students to wake up before 7am to attend school between 8am and 9am plays havoc with our body’s
intended sleep cycle. The result is that teenagers get far less
sleep throughout these critical years and concentration in the classroom takes a steep
dive into the sleepy abyss. There is absolutely no scientific evidence
that starting school any earlier than 10 or 11am is beneficial to learning, quite the
opposite in fact. Thankfully this, at least, is changing. Over the past couple of years in Britain,
as part of large experiment funded by a London charity, hundreds of schools across the UK
are being asked to shift their school days forward an hour or two and asking students
to arrive at 10am instead. This experiment is still ongoing today but
early indications from this large-scale test have already shown that school children across
the country are happier, more engaged, learning more and the rising rates of mental illness
among teenagers, which has been partially attributed to sleep deprivation, are starting
to plateau. There is one country that has taken changing
the entire school system into their own hands and made changes so sweeping that the way
they “do school” is completely unrecognisable to most of us. And as a result, this country now has the
most successful school system in the entire world. Welcome to Finland. Over the years multiple studies have ranked
Finland as the most successful and most efficient school system in the world. And they rank #2 globally for science and
#3 for reading. But what does Finland do so differently, to
the US for example, which consistently ranks down in the mid 30s for efficiency? America also ranks #33 in science and #17
in reading. For a start, children in Finland don’t even
start school until the age of seven, compared to the normal age of five, in most countries,
allowing them far more time to just “be children”. And for the first six years of a child’s education
in Finland, they are not measured in any way, it literally doesn’t matter how they perform
in class, because seriously, what is the point in testing a 10 year old when all they really
want to do is paint on walls and lick trees. In fact there is only one, just one standardised
test during the entirety of a child’s education in Finland, and it’s not taken until they’re
16 years old. And that exam isn’t even a “test” per se,
it’s used to find out which students need more individual help than the others. Homework is far less common and they don’t
begin to issue homework until students are well into their teen years. In fact Finish kids spend the least time on
homework per week than any country in the world, at an average of just over 2 hours
per week compared to six hours per week for the average American pupil. The Finish school day is far shorter than
other countries, they typically start at 9am and finish school between 1 and 2pm. Teachers in Finland only work for a maximum
of 4 hours each day and they put aside two hours each week for professional development,
helping them to be better teachers. One of the biggest differences between Finish
and American schools is the amount of free-time students are permitted. In Finland students get a 15 minute break
after every lesson. The average daily break time of a Finish school
student is a whopping 75 minutes, compared to just 27 minutes for an American student. Recent studies have conclusively shown that
more break time relative to class time, actually increases test scores and learning, and decreases
mental illness, depression and general bad behaviour amongst school children. Quite simply a happy and healthy child is
going to be less bored and more engaged. So how do Finland do when it comes to encouraging
every child’s unique abilities? Remarkably well actually, Finish school pupils
have 25 lessons a week and nine of these are arts, crafts, music and sports. That’s almost 40% of lessons. Also, the national curriculum in Finland is
just a set of broad guidelines, rather than a strict checklist that has to be adhered
to. The individual teachers have a lot more power
to tailor their lessons to suit their students. Children aren’t segregated into different
classes depending on their intelligence or historic test scores. Classes are kept small but children that need
extra help are given huge amounts of 1-on-1 attention to help get them up to speed and
the results show that the gap between the worst performing kids and the highest performers
in Finland, is the smallest in the world. In Finland no child is left behind, but it’s
actually true over there, rather than just an empty political slogan. In Finland the high school dropout rate of
students is a tiny 0.4%, in America it is 25%, by far one of the highest in the developed
world. America also has one of the largest gaps between
the tests scores of the rich than the poor in the world. But a lot of experts argue that you couldn’t
simply take the blueprint for the Finish school system and implement it overnight in America,
for one major reason, the two countries are culturally, economically and socially very,
very different. For a start the cultural differences are enormous,
in the US 22% of the population are religiously unaffiliated, with just 3% categorising themselves
as atheists. Whereas in Finland an impressive 60% of the
country are religiously unaffiliated or non-believers and 22% are atheists. Almost everyone in Finland is middle class,
they have one of the smallest gaps in the world between the rich and poor. This allows for a stable and consistent, publicly
funded school system across the entire country. Whereas America has the biggest wealth inequality
of any developed country, in the world. This creates huge problems with balancing
the school system from state to state and district to district. In America the gap between the quality of
education in poor areas and wealthy areas is enormous. To integrate the Finish system into American
schools, the whole economics of the school system would have to be turned on its head. American teachers get paid merit pay, a top
up on their salary if their students perform well in standardised tests. Causing teachers to push their students beyond
reasonable levels to achieve higher test scores, with no regard to whether they are genuinely
learning. Merit pay does not exist in Finland. Children in Finland, and most countries for
that matter, can go to school without the fear of violence. The statistics show that in the US, 27% of
students have carried a dangerous weapon to school. 10% have carried a gun to school and 40% have
been in a physical fight whilst at school. Now I’m not here to endlessly praise Finland
or to point fingers at the American or any other school system. But proper education is so, unbelievably important
to society, as it is, quite literally, our future. The children of today will be the scientists,
doctors, lawyers and politicians of tomorrow. Economists predict that improving the education
system in the US would boost the US economy by $27 trillion, over the next few decades. Similarly in the UK, economists predict that
there is much room for improvement in our school system too, and doing so would boost
our economy by £3.6 trillion. Improving education would mean a better, safer
and more sustainable world for everyone. Yes, we need to take inspiration from Finland,
but we first need to take inspiration from their attitude towards society and life. Thanks for watching.

About James Carlton

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100 thoughts on “How School Makes Kids Dumb

  1. My social studies teacher approves this and he said why are getting a test when you just are memorizing it. FYI he told us he’s a teacher to make people miserable like they did to him lmao

  2. I have infinte missles pointed at an empty school
    This is how many times school blows up
    |
    |
    V (When this quits getting likes kids will dance on the ruins of school)

  3. School teaches you some useless shit school shoud be like when you enter middle school or high school you choose your future job or something along thoose lines

  4. The internet: Children need at least 9 hours of sleep.
    Science: Children need at least 9 hours of sleep.
    Books: Children need at least 9 hours of sleep.
    Parents: Children need at least 9 hours of sleep.
    School: no.

  5. school is just a 8 hour waist of time and im 13 and i didn't even have time to be a kid. and right now im a 6th grader and i already want to drop out im in the US #fixtheschools

  6. Math isn't my thing. I fail math all the time mostly from tests and homework. I just don't like math. To me, it's just a waste of time because I don't learn anything.

  7. School: The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell

    Student: I'm about to become homeless. Can you please tell me how to get a job and buy things?

    School: lol

  8. I am a smart boi in le class, my classmate used me as an answer teller or explainer. When i need their help, they ignored me. Thats one of le reason i hate school

  9. The only thing I remember from high school was sciences, history, and math. That was excelled when I chose to go to college.

  10. One thing you forgot about the public school system is that it pushes the business of selling college to children. College is a business that wrangles 17-18 year olds into $40-$50-$60k or more of debt before they even know what the hell a loan is. By time you're 17 years old and graduating high school you're so sold on college from the public school system that you think there's no other options but college for a decent life.

  11. I remember watching a video made a year or two before this one addressing the same issues. Although, this does get the word out. Also, I don't think that the word choice for the title is accurate.

  12. I have a passion for zoology I love reading and researching about it but I have to waste my time in school instead of learning more 😥😥😥

  13. The thing I hate about my school is that they repeat stuff from grades we’ve already been in. Like I did this math thing in 6th grade and now that I’m in 8th I’m repeating it. And I hate it when the teacher tells me to pay attention even tho I don’t need to because I’ve already learned it. 🙄 and my school also claims it’s the best school in the world, it’s in America so it’s not. And we can barley even do anything but listen

  14. We learn complicated math we don't need to know.
    We Memorize things that we are going to forget in a couple of days.
    We can get set back in ENTIRE GRADES because we aren't good at something.
    So yes. School does make us dumb in a way.

  15. Where is Greece, we have one of the worst educational systems
    Yall Americans stop complaining your educational system is fine

  16. Some parents and even schools really push sports one family had 4 sons. 2 played Football, 1 played baseball and the other played basketball for their high school. A different family I know had both a son and a daughter that played High School football.

  17. Woman told me she read The wonderful Wizard of Oz at the age of 5, before she ever went to any school, and understood most of the words in it. Of course her mother was a teacher, so was her aunt and her grandmother that she visited over the summer.

  18. 10% of kids in the USA have not carried a gun to school, unless we are including back int he day when we were bringing our guns for the shooting team, or it was in the rack in our pickup truck.

  19. I was already thinking if it was skillshare or brilliant that was the sponsor typically skillshare…

  20. School makes me feel like trash. Everytime I learn for a Test I know that I ain‘t gonna be good, so I just give up and get a C.
    My life is going down anyway and school is just making it worse…

  21. I was talking with my councillor because I was overly stressed and sad but what she said is that for teenagers, school should start later since we need more sleep. 4 years ago, classes started at 9:30 now they start at 8:47, next they’ll probably start at 8:20 or even 8.

  22. I got expelled because I didn't do my homework and didn't come to school for a month. I was at the hospital suffering and I had homework. The teacher said "yOu CoUlD dO It In ThE hOsPiTaL" I wanted to kill her. Btw the reason I got I'll was because of something I ate. And the doctor wanted to see what caused it. You know what it was? S C H O O L F O O D. yes, I got I'll because of school food and the teachers got mad at me instead of saying "hope you get better" Etc.
    Yes fuck school
    (Edit:)
    The school also says to sleep for 8 hours. And says "wAkE uP aT 6 aM" My school bus arrives at 06:45 am why the fuck do I have to sleep at 10 pm. Waking up early makes human brain tired. That's just bullshit. I hate that my school starts at 7 am. And ends at 3.35 pm. The other countries are lucky. They also don't care about bullies. I lost more than a hundred TL's (Turkish Liras) at school. The teacher only said "get it back then" I tried it and the bully beated me up. School is so kind 😊

  23. I’ve spent hundreds of hours on my iPad learning history weather it’s jackfrags, simple history, oversimplified, Sam onelle academy and much more ant I retained that knowledge I remember ove 90 percent of it.

  24. You must know the basics of all kind of disciplines to become a complete person with a critical mind.
    Flat-earthers don't know the basics of phisics. Alkaline-dieters don't know the basics of biology. Creationists don't know the basics of history and evolution.
    And language is far the most important. Say, you know a lot of wild animals by observation, but if you can't write it down or explain it to the public, you can't make a career out of it.

  25. After school I sleep until dinner then I go to sleep again and start the whole meaningless cycle over again just so the teachers can get paid and so the school get ranked higher because of the pointless hours of information that I am "learning" to get a higher GPA.

    I also love computer science but instead I get to learn about the civil war and what long division is and not about how to actually start your life like getting a student loan or paying taxes or how to pay rent get a job or doing anything that actually helps you in your future

  26. My friends and I are Chinese-Malaysian. We learnt more about English and became more influential in English by watching youtube videos. Soooo, I can say school is pretty much useless.

  27. Videos like these are good for informed, curious, intelligent people, because they can use these videos to inform themselves even more, and build their own education/knowledge, etc. But stupid people will just take this as “School is pointless, school should not exist. We should all ditch or drop out. We should try burning down and/or blowing up and/or shooting up all schools” I’m not suggesting anyone do any of the violent things. I also do not suggest you ditch or dropout, but if you know what you’re doing, and you have a plan, no one’s stopping you.

  28. Every single time I watch these types of videos about how school is bad for us they make so much sense that it just makes me so mad. The school system is such shit!! But there’s no point in complaining about it because we’re not going to do anything about it and if we do their not going to listen to us because we’re just KIDS/TEENAGERS! So we just have to get threw with the rest of our time in school when we finally don’t have school or college and when we have kids we can just help them to make their lives easier in school when our parents didn’t know how hard it was for us.

  29. I want to work for Rimac as general mecanic
    Rimac: ok but to enter you need to know whole Edgar Alan Poe's (i speel that wrong) biography
    Rimac makes electric car's

  30. The problem is that kids with better grades mock and laugh at the kids with bad grades and call them dumb and stupid but in reality kids with bad grades go home to watch you tube and learn about so many thing the excited them we’re it be science history or math but the kid with good grades goes home and plays video games as there parents are proud of them and let them

  31. School is a waste of our lives think about it. Most people won't even live til 100 and we waste over 10 years of our short lives learning bull shit fucking facts

  32. I wake up at 6 for school and have to arrive by 730 and have to be in my class by 735 yep 5 minutes to get in class when you got to go through a hall way of 400 kids go to your locker and get your supplies and get into class when everyone is running and shit like bruh

  33. P.E sucks, I got a 0 on my participation grade because I was left out and taking to my friends when we were out (we were playing Nuke em’) They consider this, “encouraging you to join and try your hardest.) 😒

  34. Literally when you become an engineer in the future, they right down everything and they don't remember a lot of things.

  35. 5 days of school a week starting Monday. 7 hours of your life wasted a School day. Stress and Anxiety development because of bullying, homework, work in general, etc. And only two days off ( Sunday and Saturday ). 𝙏𝙃𝙄𝙎 𝙄𝙎 𝙁𝙄𝙉𝙀

  36. People get to go to school at 8 and 9?! Wtf, I live in Florida and all highschool students have to be at school by 6:50!i barely get any sleep, and all school does is teach me Px2=16-4%+1.9~16543377=122333455322458865660987432/w#2’678*. I fucking hate American schools, School should be fun and help you learn, not teach you meaningless bullshit and put so much stress on you that you kill yourself because of the pressure. So many teens and kids are dying because of school, kids are being forced to be perfect, not letting anyone explore their interests or anything, I just started highschool and I have almost all f’s right now, but all the teachers have said to me is “you need to stop drawing and do your work” or “you should have been listening”. Literally the only thing I’m good at is art, why aren’t kids allowed to do what they want, what their good at?! School is absolutely absurd and needs to fix itself, soon.

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