The School System is BROKEN, But it Could Be So Much Better…

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 04%, 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 £36 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 Thoughty2

Thoughty2 (Arran) is a British YouTuber and gatekeeper of useless facts. Thoughty2 creates mind-blowing factual videos, on the weirdest, wackiest and most interesting topics. Combining fascinating lists with answers to life's biggest questions.

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