Five dangerous things every school should do | Gever Tulley | [email protected]

Five dangerous things every school should do | Gever Tulley | TEDxKids@Vilnius


Translator: barbara cosenza
Reviewer: Mirjana Čutura I would like to tell you
about this idea I have about education, which is that fundamentally it ought to be a lot more interesting
for children to be at school than it seems to be in general. So I present to you today
for the first time on the planet: Five dangerous things
every school should do. I’m going to start by telling you
a little bit about myself. I grew up in a practically
mythological land called Northern California. This is the view from the trail
that starts where my house was, into the little bay
where my brother and I used to play. We were so poor
that the houses that we lived in fell apart and were demolished
or consumed by nature. Nobody thought they were worth preserving. And my neighborhood
has almost disappeared. And so this place where I grew up
is now, in my own mind, a magical place. My parents were beatniks. They were poets. They were children who grew up
in the ’50s and the ’40s and now saw the world
through a different set of eyes. For many years, my brother and I
had this beach to ourself. It’s now a quite famous
tourist destination, but when we were children,
we could walk on this beach and a day later our previous day’s footprints
were the only footprints we would see. We spent every day here, after school,
and on weekends, every moment we could, catching fish, building forts, making fires. This was our kingdom,
our little private beach for these two poor children
who had very little else, but we had this amazing thing. And as you can imagine,
it left a lasting impression on us, a way of viewing the world
as endless possibility where you can make something
out of just sand and sticks. Many years later, when I was in my 40s,
I began to notice this disturbing trend – parents were not letting their children
do very much of anything as near as I could tell. You never saw a child without a parent
within five or ten feet. And they started attaching leases
to them to keep them close. In my country – and I don’t watch
Lithuanian news very often, so you’ll have to let me know
if this is true – we see news stories about parents who get arrested for letting their children play
in the front yard of their house, unsupervised. Unsupervised play in the front yard
is now something you can be arrested for. It doesn’t make any sense. And in fact, there’s no law
that says this is actually dangerous or anyone should be arrested for. It’s just nervous neighbors
and other parents calling the police. And it’s a little bit embarrassing
to be an American and have these kind of stories going out. So, I did what any slightly crazy person who is idealistic and believes there ought
to be change in the world [would do]. I created a summer camp where parents could drop off
their children on a Sunday and pick them up on a Saturday,
and they would never know what we did. (Laughter) The very first year,
we built this roller-coaster. It took us all week. And we worked sometimes
from before breakfast till after dinner. And at the end of the week,
we had this amazing thing, a little roller-coaster,
40 meters of track. And the children convinced their parents to ride on this roller-coaster
that they had built. And we saw something amazing happen. It changed how the parent
perceived the child. This week away from the parents
allowed the child to do something, and the parent comes back and sees the incredible thing
that the child has built, and all of a sudden they are like, “Who are you? I didn’t know
you could do this.” The kids didn’t know how to ask
to be able to do that. So, using everyday materials, cardboard,
and plastic, and tape, you know, we built boats, and, of course,
we put the kids in the boat, and we put them in the ocean
to see if it worked. (Laughter) And we took broken lawnmowers, and we turned them into
the world’s most dangerous motorcycles. We took an abandoned railroad track,
and we built sail-powered trains. And, you know, an old plastic tarp
might be the surface for an airplane. And yes, it flies. So, I started to wonder, after working
with these kids summer after summer – this was about ten years ago – why isn’t school more like this? The kids would ask too. We’d be sitting around at dinner, kind of thinking about the work
and talking about everything. They would often say,
“I wish school was more like this. I wish that school was this fun. I’ve never worked this hard in my life
or had this much fun at the same time.” Working hard and having fun
don’t have to be separate. They should be brought together. So, like any idealistic,
slightly crazy person, I started a school. This is a school where children
of all ages work together, kindergarten all the way
through twelfth grade, when they graduate and go to college. This is the school they go to. We have children who’ve never been
to a different school – the only school they know. The thing that I discovered
after starting this is the thing that we all discover
when we make something. The hard part is not figuring out
what to do with the children, the hard part is figuring out
how to explain it to the world and their nervous parents,
who are wondering: well, what are their
test scores going to be? Because we don’t give them tests; instead, what we do is give them
an opportunity to do something incredible, and the children
do that on a regular basis. And suddenly, we see
the parents starting to relax. And we see the children
getting more creative because their parents are not so nervous. So after ten years of doing my summer camp
and four years of running my school, I’ve brought for you something: five dangerous things
that every school should do, starting now, because the future is happening. And we shouldn’t wait
for it to surprise us, we should create the future we want. And I think it starts with this. Number one: let children
be co-authors of their education. I mean, really. It’s such a simple question,
and it’s such a simple idea. Children should participate
in what they’re learning, not just be consumers. Let’s try a little exercise. Raise your hands
if you were ever in school and you had like just a burning question to ask a teacher,
just a really important question. Come on, Lithuania. This is a very low participation country. (Laughter) Get your hands up.
Yeah! Right? You had a brilliant question,
and you were dying to know the answer. Right? Now put your hand down
if the teacher said, “Well, that’s a good question,
but we don’t have time for that. We got to move on
to the next chapter in the book. We got to figure out
this algebra. We have to…” Whatever it was, it was clear
that what you were doing in that class had nothing to do with
what was going on in your mind. Sad. It’s a terribly sad thing to happen. Imagine instead what it would’ve been like if that question
had led to a conversation, and that conversation
led to more questions. And suddenly, what have been planned
for the whole class next day was put aside because this question you had was so good the thing that we planned
with the school administration pales in comparison. We should do something different. And now, you and the rest
of your class are outside, and you’re doing a quick experiment
with this giant piece of flexible mirror. And it doesn’t work perfectly, but it suggests that this idea
might have credibility; it might be worth exploring. Your first prototype that afternoon
kind of works, kind of doesn’t work. And the wind is moving the plastic around. So, you head back in,
and you start working on this, and you learn about this new thing. It’s a special kind of curve
that focuses light. It’s the curve that a piece of material
makes when you hang it. It’s called a parabola. You’re eight years old,
and you’ve never heard this word, or if you did, you don’t remember. And it has to do with algebra,
which you’ve never done, but you don’t care because it’s what stands between you
and burning a marshmallow with sunlight, and that’s worth doing,
so I’ll do this math. So you plot out your parabola,
and you start drilling. And this is going to be the most powerful
solar concentrator on the planet. And you start building it,
and it’s coming together. And look at that beautiful parabolic arc
made out of little sticks. You hang your sheet in it, and then, right there
in the class, in the school, you can see that it’s
kind of starting to work. So you recruit a friend, and she
helps you carry it out to the park, where you set it up, and it makes really warm marshmallows. (Laughter) Yeah. They get really warm, kind of hot to the touch. But they’re not cooking. Not nearly as well as your friend
who tried a different approach of gluing tiny little squares of mirror to a satellite dish
that he rescued from the trash. Later, you present
your results to the class using your fancy infographics. (Laughter) And while you’re looking at it,
right there on stage, you have the sudden realization –
you know why yours wasn’t working. You take a deep breath,
and you turn around, “Does anybody have any questions?” And yes, of course they do. Because they’ve been following your story
for the last two weeks, and they want to know how it ends. The goals we have,
as a society, for education can all be met in ways
that do not train children to be obedient or good at taking tests – passive to authority. We can achieve all of those goals, everything we want to learn –
math, history, science, art, everything – we can learn by following
the excitement of the child. Number two: we should trust children more. We really ought to.
They’re very trustworthy. And they just love being trusted. They do so much better when we trust them. I think we’ve all seen
a lot of pictures of classrooms, today. (Laughs) But the psychology, the architecture
of this room is designed to reinforce that authority of the teacher
standing at front of the room and giving you precious knowledge
that you don’t know what it’s for. And she promises that later
when you’re an adult, you’re going to use it, you know. And 50 years ago, it looked the same
as it did 100 years ago, and ten years ago, and two years ago. I think we already saw this very slide. If we decided that trust was important, if we decided to extend, let’s start with the fact
that we trust you, we might build a very different school, and our classrooms
might look a little different, maybe a little more chaotic –
our school certainly does. Maybe we wouldn’t need walls
to hold them in the classroom because with that trust, the children
felt a sense of responsibility. And if we trusted them, they wouldn’t have to ask permission
to go to the bathroom. Like an adult, they could just wait for a good break
in the conversation and go to the bathroom. “I trust you. You appear to be
on an important journey. Come back as soon as you can.” If we trusted them,
they could learn to use tools. They would be braver and more courageous. They would be all those things
that we hope for in adults. And they could start practicing it
when they’re six instead of when they’re 24
and they graduate from college. And they would bring their hearts
and their minds to everything they did. Because they knew that we trusted them. Number three: the default answer is “yes!” Just imagine what that would be like. “Can I go on that rope swing?” “Yes!” “Can I help build classrooms this summer?” “Yes, you can.” “Can I build a room where we can try
this thing that I read about, called high-speed photography?” “Yes, you can. Why not? That’s going to be awesome.” “Can I study chess?” “I don’t know what that has to do
with what else is going on in school, but yes. If you seem pretty serious about that,
let’s do some chess.” “Can I go to to the cafe
to work on my blog?” “Yes. Yes, you can. Try to be back before the end of school because your mom is going to be
here to pick you up.” (Laughter) “Yes” – it’s just about the most
interesting answer to any question ever. “Can I make fireworks?” “Yes. But first figure out
how to do it safely and legally because we’re a little worried
about the insurance, so do some research. It is, without question,
infinitely more interesting than “no.” “No” is the most boring answer
you can get when you’re a child. So let’s start giving them “yeses” and not beating over the heads with “no.” Alright. Focus on habit and character
instead of the test scores because you know what? You only need those test scores
in school, and we don’t use them. I hired hundreds
of programmers in my life, and I never looked at their test scores. What is it that keeps a young student
working away on his idea for a chair, this prototype? I would suggest
that there are only two ways to get a small child to build many chairs
before he builds one he likes. You can make him do it, or the children
can believe in the process, that effort that it takes to go
from an idea to a finished product, and launch themselves into it
because they trust their school. “My chair is terrible right now.
It’s going to get a lot better, I bet.” “Yes, it is. That’s an amazing chair.” This teacher’s persistence, tenacity, that rare quality
that you take on a challenge and you don’t stop until it works. Curiosity – the exact same thing. You know, if every curious question
you have leads to nothing, you’ll stop being curious. It happens to everybody. It happens to children all the time.
They just get less curious. Sir Ken Robinson, a great TED speaker, estimates that by the time
we graduate from high school, we have lost over 90%
of our creative capacity. Ninety percent. That is a global resource
being wasted at an enormous scale. The answer to every problem we ever had
is probably been thrown out along the way with all those millions
of children being less creative. Number five: let’s agree,
all of us here today, that everything is interesting, no matter what the topic. An activity seen from a distance
might seem silly. She is reproducing
a research paper that shows that the stride length
that people exhibit in a city tells you something about the wealth
and welfare in that city. So she painted her feet,
and walked on a piece of paper, and measured the distance. It’s not perfect science, but she never forgot
about that piece of research. Spend a day without sight. “Yes, of course, Clementine.
You can do that.” What school would help them do that? We tell children that camera
works like an eye. We took apart a camera.
Then we took apart an eye. Now they know what an inside
of an eye is like. Everything the kids want to learn or that we want kids to learn
can be taught in this way – every educational goal. Life at school shapes
how children see the world. We want them to see the world as a wonderful, delightful,
creative place that’s worth protecting. That starts when they’re six,
and we don’t stop working on it until they go out
into the world and make change. So I say: Let’s be brave. Let’s create the kind of schools
that we want to see our children in. And if the government won’t let us do it, let’s cheat. (Laughter) Thank you very much. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Five dangerous things every school should do | Gever Tulley | [email protected]

  1. Fantastic talk. I was a child of the late 70's and 80's. My brother is 3 years older than I. While in grade school, I recall that in his class, the students got to 1) engineer the best vehicle for an egg drop and drop it from the roof of the school. 2) Build model rockets and shoot them off. 3) build hot air balloons using tissue paper and tea candles. I remember thinking, "I cant wait until I'm old enough to do these at school". We never did. It became too dangerous. ;(
    Because I saw these things my brother and his class did (but didn't get to do myself), I still became an engineer. These things fascinated me.

  2. This man completely misunderstands the whole purpose of education. Education is mass indoctrination designed to make people obedient and compliant. He must be crazy.

  3. this is just how home school is for me although I think I would love being in an environment like that where I can see and help with other peoples progress

  4. My biggest goal is to be allowed to go outside and maybe walk to school or find new things about the city I’ve been living it for the past six years. I know others have it better, I have online friends who can go to school by a train alone, or walk to school and come back home alone. They can go to libraries and other places they want to go to after school. I have it worse, I’ve never been out alone, the only place I’ve been alone is when we’re out in a mall or something and my mom asks me to get her something from like a really close restaurant. I don’t want that. I have an endless curiosity and I want to explore at least the city that I live in.

  5. 1. Let children be co-authors of their own education.
    2. Trust children. (They should not need permission to go use a bathroom).
    3. Say yes more often to children.
    4. Focus on habits and character (not grades)
    5. Let’s agree that everything is “interesting”. Let the kid follow their curiosity and do projects which they find interesting (eg spend a day without sight by putting on shades for a day).

  6. Is ch(x) actually a parabolic curve the same way x² is ? I wonder if by changing axis you can write is as a rational fuction or something

  7. When I was in the 9th grade our teacher used to put his classroom in shape. We had a horseshoe,a square and circle. And he would always sit in a regular seat with a small table to place his things. It made it feel like he was one of us, like he was learn with us.

  8. I love this idea for my children, ages 6 and 7, they are both very trustworthy, curious and intelligent children. They would thrive in this setting.

    But honestly, I'm not sure about all kids. I was a teachers aide for their classes last year at a private school where we had a lot of freedom and I cant see this setting working for most of those children. A lot of them had behavioral problems, they weren't acting out because of boredom, they were rude kids that would yell at their parents, they would continually interrupt just to blurt out "potty words" or to insult another child and most of our day was giving them the attention they weren't getting at home. I would see children hitting themselves for attention or even exposing themselves to others for the reaction.

    Sadly, school isn't always about education, its more of a daycare/respite for the parents.
    Again, I'd love this for my children, as we do a lot of this in our daily lives already, but I dont think this would work for the classrooms I've personally worked in.

  9. I wish school was as fun as that camp because where I live, students are so stressed and overwhelmed with schoolwork that kids are committing suicide in middle school 😢

  10. We made a solar oven in Algebra 1 as a final project, it took forever, but I loved to do it with my friends! We were trusted to bring an exacto knife to school for our project. Teachers let us go out of the class room when we needed to go to the bathroom or our locker without needing to raise our hand or being questioned. This one one year of middle school, and it will forever change me, because I saw that people didn’t hurt people with the exacto knife, and that they didn’t go to the bathroom to ditch class (in fact less people went out of class when given the freedom to do so whenever.)

  11. I'm in high school and the stuff that 8-year-old learned by trying to roast a marshmallow with a mirror? With the focus point and all that? I learned that *last year*. This kid, through his own desire to pursue and create, learned things that I hadn't learned until I was TWICE HIS AGE. This is the future we need to be building for ourselves, one where we can pursue our own creative interests to learn things considered "too hard" for little kids. Let's BREAK the current school system! Let's build one that encourages children to be their OWN person, not one that fails kids with more of an interest in art and reading than algebra and chemistry. We need ALL of these talents in this day and age to make the world a safer, better, and more beautiful place.

    If more people like this man are in charge, we can prepare our children to carry humanity FORWARDS.

    Strive to make CHANGE! If you have a boring office job, do something on the side. Find a hobby you enjoy and build with it. Create something on Kickstarter. Make new technology, new things! Start a YouTube channel about how to birdwatch! Make a local poetry group that specializes in limericks! Spark a personal revolution!

    WE CAN MAKE THE CHANGE!

  12. Unsupervised play in the house? Fine
    Unsupervised play in the backyard? Fine
    Unsupervised play in the front yard? Neglectful

  13. This guy' hasn't spent much time in a public classroom. The question would be more like " Can I take a nap on the desk? Can we play Fortnight? Can I go see my friend in the other classroom?"

  14. Thank you , Gever. Seems you like kids as much as I. Only wish I had you I my school or better yet as my teacher. I had a few really great teachers somewhat like you, I’d say maybe 4 from grade 1-12. That was 1974-1986.

  15. This guy is an absolute genius! I would've WANTED to go to school if learning was this cool. School was torture for me from beginning to end because very little would interest me. I learn how to do things so much easier by doing them. I'd probably also know what I'd want to go to college for. But I'm 23 and am unsure what I want to do for a career. I've been too busy explaining the things I never learned in school.

  16. Unless you want to work in a low-paying trade or maybe unskilled minimum wage, the academic procedure learned in standard elementary through high school is probably your best bet as to survival in college and therefore the world around you, leading to higher pay, therefore leading to a higher standard of living and usually better quality of life. It definitely ruins your creativity, but it at least makes you viable and potentially successful in the real world.

  17. Interesting. Although not a new concept. I would never send my boys to a school like this. You must first learn to walk before you run. They need to know the basics of math and physics before constructing that chair. I do believe it is a great supplement to an already present basic education regimen. When my husband was little he used to rebuild engines and build treehouses with his father and neighbor and his son (my husbands then good friend) they did this after school and on weekends. I believe my husband is the smartest man I’ve ever met. He just “gets things” that my mind can’t comprehend. Would he be this smart if he just built treehouses with his father full time and did not get a basic education along with it? No. Never. This also goes the other way around, he would be a totally different person today had it not been for the time his father put into him. The issue today is not the school system but it falls on the shoulders of today’s parents. They don’t have the time, energy or drive to do these supplemental yet very important activities with their kids and in turn the kids suffer and so does our society. If parents did little things like this (maybe not on a .. roller coaster in your backyard, scale) every day after school or every other weekend we would be better off as a society as a whole. Currently my 6 year old goes to elementary school during the day and during the weekend he is helping his father rebuild an engine 🙂 he is so excited when he walks in all greasy and sweaty talking about his “wranchy” wrench.. and my heart is full and I can’t wait to see the man he grows into. This is what we should be striving towards. Not an all or nothing in either direction.

  18. it makes me so angry that no one would take a child ideas seriously. i seriously support this person, and i really want to go to that school he talked about. if i sent this viedo to the prime minister of england she would go about his day like nothing happened. she wouldn.t touch it even if it was the only mail he had received in a week. i mean, who would take ideas from a 12yr old! they cant do ANYTHING properly. why cant they lear ANYTHING!

  19. Swedish schools are more like that. Sweden has a long tradition of innovation and building quality products. They have given us everything from gauge blocks to Bluetooth, cars, airplanes, boats, medical devices, and furniture. They still have crafts classes, we don't. Maybe we should.

  20. Once my science class was supposed to be doing a pre-lab, we asked random off topic questions and had a huge discussion instead

  21. a school that actually applied everything that was talked about in this video would be amazing for children. teach them to explore, not to obey everyone who's bigger than them.

  22. Things have only gotten worse! I am now a retired teacher who retired because of how we are doing school now! I want to be part of this type of school!❤️🙏🏻❤️

  23. I wholeheartedly agree with the idea that this kind of approach is absolutely vital for achieving everyone’s maximum potential, although it should be integrated with and not substitute the “classic” system. Hard, boring knowledge in every subject is needed, if not for anything else, just to avoid the Dunning-Kruger effect. Case in point, he’s enunciating the definition of a catenary and calling it a parabola.

  24. Nothing is more demeaning in school than having to ask to use the restroom. Ever since freshman year our teachers would say “you’re in high school now just get up and go” but this year (I’m a junior now) at the beginning of the year a kid in my health class got up to use the restroom and my teacher stopped them and they were really confused and the teacher said “usually people ask” and he was kinda annoyed and everyone looked at him like he was crazy because no… we don’t ask…

  25. God damn my parents wouldn't even let me leave the house without 3 days notice and a detailed description of what I was doing, where I was going, and who I'd be with

  26. this talk just makes me sad af bc it reminds me how sucky our world is and how brillant his idea was. He sounds just like my physics teacher how blew up his old school's cardboard and set off the fire alarm bc he wanted to make a firework wif his friends. We didnt learn anything during physics lessons but we studied on our own bc we wanted to make him proud and we love him

  27. If you want something like this, look into Steiner schools. It has literally been life changing sending our children to one, for them and for us. I have never ever seen children more happy, healthy and thriving than at our Steiner school.

  28. Well even in classical schools there are possibilities to follow your deep questions if only a good teacher let you life it. Once my last year at school we were taught in physics the heisenberg's uncertainty principle. And I couldn't believe it. It was kind of illogical for me but I was pretty good in maths and I had some algebra down my sleeve. So I asked my – by the way brilliant – physics teacher if I may proof him wrong. And of course he agreed. The next half hour I used all the maths skills I as a seventeen year old student could bring up and in the end much to the amusement to all others I proved – and I mean prove in every mathematical and physical way – myself wrong. But after that show everyone knew that heisenberg was right and why he was right. I was slightly embarrassed but it was worth it.

  29. Aw man, I remember running into the woods with a machete and my brother when I was about 12 for hours on end and just being in the woods.

  30. Put one in every state and only let in the kids with the greatest potential and the least drive. Then let the ones with both tug the others along.

  31. The kids at my school don't care about these things. They just want to drink toxic liquids and inhale all sorts of smokes.

  32. That's an amazingly true statement! "The kids didn't know how to ask", this a real life eureka moment for me thank you sir

  33. Schools aren't like that because there are "those" parents who will have a tizzy over just about anything. And, in a culture where whiners rule, all fun and quality education has been whined right out of school.

  34. The reason most kids are put on leashes these days is because they have special needs. My son has ADHD and ASD. He had almost no impulse control and would run into traffic without understanding the danger and no matter how much I tried to explain, he just didn't get it. To keep him safe when he was young, I HAD to put a leash on him. If someone touched him or he got anxiety from being in public, he would run off and hide. It was terrifying because he could hide for HOURS and you couldn't find him. Sorry, but a lot of these kids NEED to be leashed. It takes a lot longer to teach them impulse control and to understand danger. When he's at home, he's absolutely fine. In public, his flight response is highly active. His brain is absolutely amazing and he's been inventing things since he was 19 mos old. We would do science experiments and destroy our kitchen/ dining area. We even made snow when he was 3. His IQ at 13 is higher than most adults, but he still forgets to be careful or recognize danger when he's in hyper focus. Context is everything. Sometimes leashes are necessary… But building and inventing and letting him have reign over his own imagination to explore, is the best way he learns. So, I've always let him do what he wants in that aspect. Many don't understand and school held him back. They wanted rigid conformity that was oppositional to his ability to learn. Homeschooling was the only way for him. He excels in math and science and accepts reading and English as necessary for his development in the other aspects. His mind is a beautiful thing.

  35. Mr Tulley, if you ever read this somehow, I want you to know that there are two things that I know. One is sad, the other enlightening. 1. At least in the US, we are taught not to think. The more of a "soldier" you can become, the better. The less you question the world, the happier the government and it's extensions are, because then they can shape you however they want to. They don't want you to ask questions. 2. I never learned that lesson because a man, much like yourself, came to my school as a motivational speaker (in about 1994/95) and told us to never stop asking the question why. I'm going on 34 right now, I was 8 or 9 back then, and to this day, I have never stopped asking that question. If I knew who this man was and I knew how to find him, I would shake his hand and personally thank him for the single most important piece of information I could ever use. Thank you for carrying on such a strong message.

  36. I wish school had been like this. school should be about thinking and creating. not regurgitating.
    I did not read for fun until my mid thirties because reading was boring work. How to destroy a book/play? Analyze every line/page/chapter for meaning that may or may not be there. then tell the student they are wrong because it does not match the government textbook answer.

  37. What an amazing TED Talk! I went to a Montessori school from kindergarten through middle school, and it's all about letting the kids follow their curiosity and run around and stuff. In 6th grade, we planned our own itinerary for our New York trip, subway stops and everything. This guy knows what's up, and I wish more education was like this.

  38. Hey Bernie, if you see this, please make this guy your secretary of education when you take office in 2021!

  39. The problem I see is that this type of education doesn't translate well when switching schools. You don't have a general baseline of standard to compare it to. I also think it is the conceptual differences of how schools are run and they tend to output the esoteric rather than the tangible effect. So a math class would probably be better off by learning directly from an accountant's detailed analysis of a farm with multiple revanue streams and expenses. So at the end of the class the test is to account for everything.

  40. As a kid I lived in Pacific Grove CA. There was a big eroded donut of coral out in the surf. We would go out and crawl on it on top you could watch the waves go thru below you. Now it is off limits. Now it is a crime to go out and clamber on it tragic

  41. USA will spend 6 TRILLION for war in Afghanistan while demanding cuts in education spending USA is going down the drain

  42. I am very glad we have free thinking hippies like this in our country.  I'm also glad we don't have an over abundance of them.

  43. Dude, take a breath, sip some water and put us all out of our misery with your damn tongue clicking. Seriously though, you are peddling a tunnel view by claiming that all kids learn more effectively and retain more when (1) they are the craftsmen and (2) when they hold accountability for the topics. It’s bunk and you have no evidence that this accelerates child capability across the spectrum. There is evidence, however, that the practice of ‘replicate and evolve’ does foster growth in capability.

    Like an art school or an athletics school, you focus on engineering. You’re in a sea of sameness my friend.

  44. These are great ideas. Schools should foster creativity and curiosity instead of suppressing them. I have always learned more when the teacher makes me interested than when I sit in class mindlessly. Providing hands-on projects would definitely help students remember lessons and ideas, and allowing students to ask questions is the only way to truly engage them.

    However, I do wonder how one might scale these ideas so that they can apply on a broader scale. How would one check how much the students know without tests? How would one ensure that fundamental concepts get taught if the lesson plan could possibly vary wildly on a day-to-day basis (depending on the whims of the students)?

    Schools today focus far too much on order instead of knowledge and curiosity (to the detriment of the students), but wouldn't throwing out the normal idea of order be bad as well? Does anyone have any thoughts?

  45. I had a teacher just like this in 8th grade science. The first day we got to class, we were told to not even look at the textbook that had been assigned to each student. The only reason we kept them was for an experiment in the middle of the year. He taught us the laws of physics through many experiments. we learned the laws of thermodynamics through building thermoses, the laws of gravity by making us build a bridge and seeing how many textbooks we could pile onto it before it fell. I'm truly grateful for my teacher for giving me a space where I could explore and make mistakes!

  46. Very well said… If someone is having fun doing what they do but suddenly finds an obstacle or an area where he doesn't know how better to approach he will move mountains in order to know how to proceed… And his efficiency and the links he will make in his mind will be an order of magnitude better than if somebody just said him "hey, goddamn it, go learn newtons law".

  47. Heh, all my childhood I dreamt of making stuff fly as high as possible and then this kind of disappeared because I could not do anything impressive enough on my own – not enough information(no internetz yet), no money, no materials… Could have totally different profession nowdays probably if someone brew this interest for a bit and helped…

  48. I think this should definitely be the case for K-8. We need kids to explore their interests, and elementary school is pretty much daycare right now. Extremely useless, everything you learn is very simple and barely anything sticks.
    For 9-12 (High school), keep the system as long as there's enough courses to choose from, but stop removing things. Let chemistry classes make tiny explosions, etc. It's important to have structure at this point, and start drilling those tests so they learn how to learn.
    Then post secondary is optional and they can pursue their interests, which they probably have more passion towards because they were able to explore stuff as kids.

  49. sad thing is that the ones with the power, want us to lose that 90% creativity and freedom of the mind… its not about progress, its about feeding the ones that have already too much to spend..

  50. In today's society with all of the abductions and homicides, leaving your child unattended in the front yard is child endangerment

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