You don’t need my scribbled summary notes of the video if you watch it. But I write notes whenever I watch or read anything now. The video is greatly produced with visuals to drive home the speech. I’ll write a follow up that identifies my ideas and experiences with the approach I saw first hand in Italy.
Education: We’re trying to meet the future by doing what they did in the past and on the way we are alienating millions of kids who don’t see any purpose in going to school. Schools marginalize what we think is important about ourselves. Our current educational system was designed for a different age [the age of 5% of men going to college (and much lower for women). Thus a vocational educational system was designed to meet the needs of the 95% who would enter the work force]. This system is still in effect today. It separates people into academic (smart) and non-academic (not smart). Thus many brilliant people believe that they are not smart.
Modern Epidemic of ADHD. Not an epidemic = Prescription frequency prescribed to children displayed on map. Children are living in the most intensely stimulating period in the history of the earth. Besieged with information and attention demanded from every platform (computers, television, video game, advertising). And we penalize them for getting distracted…From what? Boring stuff (school lessons). ADHD grows in parallel with the growth of standardized testing. So we give them powerful drugs to calm them down and help them focus.
ADHD rises as we go east. Start losing interest in Oklahoma, hardly think straight in Arkansas, and in Washington they’ve lost it completely. It’s a fictitious epidemic. If you think about it, the arts are the victims of this mentality. Arts=Aesthetic Experience (senses operate at their peak). You are present, you are fully alive during an aesthetic experience. Anesthetic=shut your senses off. These drugs do just that. We are getting children through education this way. We should do the opposite, we should wake them up!
School is organized as a factory line: separate facilities, specialized into separate subjects, educated by batches (age). Like our date of manufacture is the most important thing about us. Some children are better than others at subjects who are the same age, some do better at different times of the day, or some do better in smaller groups, some better in larger, and some do better on their own. If you want to make a model of education you don’t start with production line mentality. Instead of conformity and standardization head in the opposite direction.
Divergent thinking is an essential capacity for creativity. Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value. Divergent thinking is the seeing lots of possible answers to a question, not just one and various ways of interpreting questions.
Example: How many uses can you think of for a paper clip? Most would have 10-15 answers. People who are good at divergent thinking would think of 200 (by saying could the paper clip be made out of foam and 200 ft tall?). Break Point and Beyond tested 1500 people. Above certain level is a genius of divergent thinking. Kindergarten children tested. 98% genius level. Longitudinal study. Tested children few years later. Then again. Their capacity for divergent thinking steadily decreased. What happened to these children?…They’ve become educated.
Been told there is one answer, it’s in the back (of the book) and don’t look! Don’t copy. That’s cheating. Outside of school we call this collaboration. Teachers don’t want it this way. It happens this way. Part of the education gene pool.
We need: To think differently about human capacity. Get over academic/non-academic, abstract, theoretical, vocational conceptions which are myths. Recognize that most great learning happens in groups, collaboration is the stuff of growth. Understand that judging people individually separates them from their natural learning environment. It’s crucially about the culture of our institutions, the habits and habitats of our institutions.