How to escape education’s death valley | Sir Ken Robinson

How to escape education’s death valley | Sir Ken Robinson

Translator: Joseph Geni
Reviewer: Morton Bast Thank you very much. I moved to America 12 years ago
with my wife Terry and our two kids. Actually, truthfully, we moved
to Los Angeles — (Laughter) thinking we were moving
to America, but anyway — (Laughter) It’s a short plane ride
from Los Angeles to America. (Laughter) I got here 12 years ago, and when I got here,
I was told various things, like, “Americans don’t get irony.” (Laughter) Have you come across this idea? It’s not true. I’ve traveled the whole length
and breadth of this country. I have found no evidence
that Americans don’t get irony. It’s one of those cultural myths, like, “The British are reserved.” (Laughter) I don’t know why people think this. We’ve invaded every country
we’ve encountered. (Laughter) But it’s not true Americans
don’t get irony, but I just want you to know
that that’s what people are saying about you behind your back. You know, so when you leave
living rooms in Europe, people say, thankfully,
nobody was ironic in your presence. (Laughter) But I knew that Americans get irony when I came across that legislation,
“No Child Left Behind.” (Laughter) Because whoever thought
of that title gets irony. (Laughter) Don’t they? (Applause) Because it’s leaving
millions of children behind. Now I can see that’s not a very attractive
name for legislation: “Millions of Children Left Behind.” I can see that. What’s the plan? We propose to leave
millions of children behind, and here’s how it’s going to work. And it’s working beautifully. (Laughter) In some parts of the country, 60 percent of kids drop out
of high school. In the Native American communities, it’s 80 percent of kids. If we halved that number, one estimate is it would create
a net gain to the U.S. economy over 10 years,
of nearly a trillion dollars. From an economic point of view, this is good math, isn’t it,
that we should do this? It actually costs an enormous amount to mop up the damage
from the dropout crisis. But the dropout crisis
is just the tip of an iceberg. What it doesn’t count
are all the kids who are in school but being disengaged
from it, who don’t enjoy it, who don’t get any real benefit from it. And the reason is not
that we’re not spending enough money. America spends more money on education
than most other countries. Class sizes are smaller
than in many countries. And there are hundreds
of initiatives every year to try and improve education. The trouble is, it’s all going
in the wrong direction. There are three principles
on which human life flourishes, and they are contradicted
by the culture of education under which most teachers have to labor and most students have to endure. The first is this, that human beings
are naturally different and diverse. Can I ask you, how many of you
have got children of your own? Okay. Or grandchildren. How about two children or more? Right. And the rest of you
have seen such children. (Laughter) Small people wandering about. (Laughter) I will make you a bet, and I am confident
that I will win the bet. If you’ve got two children or more, I bet you they are completely
different from each other. Aren’t they? (Applause) You would never confuse them, would you? Like, “Which one are you? Remind me.” (Laughter) “Your mother and I need
some color-coding system so we don’t get confused.” Education under “No Child Left Behind” is based on not diversity but conformity. What schools are encouraged
to do is to find out what kids can do across
a very narrow spectrum of achievement. One of the effects
of “No Child Left Behind” has been to narrow the focus
onto the so-called STEM disciplines. They’re very important. I’m not here to argue
against science and math. On the contrary, they’re necessary
but they’re not sufficient. A real education has to give equal weight to the arts, the humanities,
to physical education. An awful lot of kids, sorry, thank you — (Applause) One estimate in America currently
is that something like 10 percent of kids, getting on that way, are being diagnosed
with various conditions under the broad title
of attention deficit disorder. ADHD. I’m not saying there’s no such thing. I just don’t believe
it’s an epidemic like this. If you sit kids down, hour after hour, doing low-grade clerical work, don’t be surprised if they start
to fidget, you know? (Laughter) (Applause) Children are not, for the most part,
suffering from a psychological condition. They’re suffering from childhood. (Laughter) And I know this because
I spent my early life as a child. I went through the whole thing. Kids prosper best with a broad curriculum
that celebrates their various talents, not just a small range of them. And by the way, the arts
aren’t just important because they improve math scores. They’re important because they speak
to parts of children’s being which are otherwise untouched. The second, thank you — (Applause) The second principle
that drives human life flourishing is curiosity. If you can light the spark
of curiosity in a child, they will learn without any further
assistance, very often. Children are natural learners. It’s a real achievement
to put that particular ability out, or to stifle it. Curiosity is the engine of achievement. Now the reason I say this is because one of the effects
of the current culture here, if I can say so, has been to de-professionalize teachers. There is no system in the world
or any school in the country that is better than its teachers. Teachers are the lifeblood
of the success of schools. But teaching is a creative profession. Teaching, properly conceived,
is not a delivery system. You know, you’re not there just
to pass on received information. Great teachers do that, but what great teachers also do is mentor, stimulate, provoke, engage. You see, in the end,
education is about learning. If there’s no learning going on,
there’s no education going on. And people can spend an awful lot of time discussing education
without ever discussing learning. The whole point of education
is to get people to learn. An old friend of mine —
actually very old, he’s dead. (Laughter) That’s as old as it gets, I’m afraid. (Laughter) But a wonderful guy he was,
wonderful philosopher. He used to talk about the difference between the task
and achievement senses of verbs. You can be engaged
in the activity of something, but not really be
achieving it, like dieting. (Laughter) It’s a very good example. There he is. He’s dieting. Is he losing any weight? Not really. (Laughter) Teaching is a word like that. You can say, “There’s Deborah,
she’s in room 34, she’s teaching.” But if nobody’s learning anything, she may be engaged in the task of teaching
but not actually fulfilling it. The role of a teacher
is to facilitate learning. That’s it. And part of the problem is, I think, that the dominant culture
of education has come to focus on not teaching and learning, but testing. Now, testing is important. Standardized tests have a place. But they should not be
the dominant culture of education. They should be diagnostic.
They should help. (Applause) If I go for a medical examination,
I want some standardized tests. I do. I want to know
what my cholesterol level is compared to everybody else’s
on a standard scale. I don’t want to be told on some scale
my doctor invented in the car. (Laughter) “Your cholesterol
is what I call Level Orange.” “Really?” (Laughter) “Is that good?” “We don’t know.” (Laughter) But all that should support learning. It shouldn’t obstruct it,
which of course it often does. So in place of curiosity,
what we have is a culture of compliance. Our children and teachers are encouraged
to follow routine algorithms rather than to excite that power
of imagination and curiosity. And the third principle is this:
that human life is inherently creative. It’s why we all have different résumés. We create our lives, and we can recreate them
as we go through them. It’s the common currency
of being a human being. It’s why human culture
is so interesting and diverse and dynamic. I mean, other animals may well have
imaginations and creativity, but it’s not so much
in evidence, is it, as ours? I mean, you may have a dog. And your dog may get depressed. You know, but it doesn’t listen
to Radiohead, does it? (Laughter) And sit staring out the window
with a bottle of Jack Daniels. (Laughter) “Would you like to come for a walk?” “No, I’m fine.” (Laughter) “You go. I’ll wait. But take pictures.” (Laughter) We all create our own lives
through this restless process of imagining alternatives
and possibilities, and one of the roles of education is to awaken and develop
these powers of creativity. Instead, what we have
is a culture of standardization. Now, it doesn’t have to be that way. It really doesn’t. Finland regularly comes out on top
in math, science and reading. Now, we only know
that’s what they do well at, because that’s all that’s being tested. That’s one of the problems of the test. They don’t look for other things
that matter just as much. The thing about work in Finland is this: they don’t obsess about those disciplines. They have a very broad
approach to education, which includes humanities,
physical education, the arts. Second, there is no standardized
testing in Finland. I mean, there’s a bit, but it’s not what gets
people up in the morning, what keeps them at their desks. The third thing —
and I was at a meeting recently with some people from Finland,
actual Finnish people, and somebody from the American system
was saying to the people in Finland, “What do you do
about the drop-out rate in Finland?” And they all looked a bit
bemused, and said, “Well, we don’t have one. Why would you drop out? If people are in trouble,
we get to them quite quickly and we help and support them.” Now people always say, “Well, you know, you can’t compare
Finland to America.” No. I think there’s a population
of around five million in Finland. But you can compare it
to a state in America. Many states in America
have fewer people in them than that. I mean, I’ve been
to some states in America and I was the only person there. (Laughter) Really. Really. I was asked to lock up when I left. (Laughter) But what all the high-performing
systems in the world do is currently what is not evident, sadly, across the systems in America — I mean, as a whole. One is this: they individualize teaching and learning. They recognize that it’s students
who are learning and the system has to engage them, their curiosity, their individuality,
and their creativity. That’s how you get them to learn. The second is that they attribute
a very high status to the teaching profession. They recognize
that you can’t improve education if you don’t pick great people to teach
and keep giving them constant support
and professional development. Investing in professional
development is not a cost. It’s an investment, and every other country
that’s succeeding well knows that, whether it’s Australia, Canada, South Korea, Singapore,
Hong Kong or Shanghai. They know that to be the case. And the third is, they devolve responsibility
to the school level for getting the job done. You see, there’s a big difference here between going into a mode of command
and control in education — That’s what happens in some systems. Central or state governments decide, they know best and they’re going
to tell you what to do. The trouble is that education
doesn’t go on in the committee rooms
of our legislative buildings. It happens in classrooms and schools, and the people who do it
are the teachers and the students, and if you remove their discretion,
it stops working. You have to put it back to the people. (Applause) There is wonderful work
happening in this country. But I have to say it’s happening in spite of the dominant
culture of education, not because of it. It’s like people are sailing
into a headwind all the time. And the reason I think is this: that many of the current policies are based on mechanistic
conceptions of education. It’s like education
is an industrial process that can be improved
just by having better data, and somewhere in the back of the mind
of some policy makers is this idea that if we fine-tune it
well enough, if we just get it right, it will all hum along perfectly
into the future. It won’t, and it never did. The point is that education
is not a mechanical system. It’s a human system. It’s about people, people who either do want
to learn or don’t want to learn. Every student who drops
out of school has a reason for it which is rooted in their own biography. They may find it boring. They may find it irrelevant. They may find that it’s at odds with
the life they’re living outside of school. There are trends,
but the stories are always unique. I was at a meeting recently
in Los Angeles of — they’re called alternative
education programs. These are programs designed
to get kids back into education. They have certain common features. They’re very personalized. They have strong support for the teachers, close links with the community
and a broad and diverse curriculum, and often programs which involve students
outside school as well as inside school. And they work. What’s interesting to me is,
these are called “alternative education.” (Laughter) You know? And all the evidence
from around the world is, if we all did that, there’d be
no need for the alternative. (Applause) (Applause ends) So I think we have to embrace
a different metaphor. We have to recognize
that it’s a human system, and there are conditions
under which people thrive, and conditions under which they don’t. We are after all organic creatures, and the culture of the school
is absolutely essential. Culture is an organic term, isn’t it? Not far from where I live
is a place called Death Valley. Death Valley is the hottest,
driest place in America, and nothing grows there. Nothing grows there
because it doesn’t rain. Hence, Death Valley. In the winter of 2004,
it rained in Death Valley. Seven inches of rain fell
over a very short period. And in the spring of 2005,
there was a phenomenon. The whole floor of Death Valley
was carpeted in flowers for a while. What it proved is this: that Death Valley isn’t dead. It’s dormant. Right beneath the surface
are these seeds of possibility waiting for the right conditions
to come about, and with organic systems,
if the conditions are right, life is inevitable. It happens all the time. You take an area, a school, a district, you change the conditions, give people
a different sense of possibility, a different set of expectations,
a broader range of opportunities, you cherish and value the relationships
between teachers and learners, you offer people
the discretion to be creative and to innovate in what they do, and schools that were once
bereft spring to life. Great leaders know that. The real role of leadership
in education — and I think it’s true
at the national level, the state level, at the school level — is not and should not be
command and control. The real role of leadership
is climate control, creating a climate of possibility. And if you do that, people will rise to it and achieve things
that you completely did not anticipate and couldn’t have expected. There’s a wonderful quote
from Benjamin Franklin. “There are three sorts
of people in the world: Those who are immovable, people who don’t get it, or don’t want to do anything about it; there are people who are movable, people who see the need for change and are prepared to listen to it; and there are people who move, people who make things happen.” And if we can encourage more people,
that will be a movement. And if the movement is strong enough, that’s, in the best sense
of the word, a revolution. And that’s what we need. Thank you very much. (Applause) Thank you very much. (Applause)


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    Chris Dragotta

    Not everyone should go to school. Debt. Devalues degrees. People can learn for free online. The guy may be well meaning.
    He could also be an education product shill. People need to go into the trades.

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    Dorrian Stone

    📚 America’s education system was originally designed by the Rockefellar Institute to dumb down the average citizen to make obedient, loyal soldiers and factory workers. Not much has changed, Common Core (modeled on Chinese education) is the most recent attack on our kids brains to drag them all down to the lowest common denominator.

    You can’t really raise intelligence, but you can dumb all the kids down to the same level of ignorance. These days, it seems to be more about the giant elephant in the room no one is allowed to mention in our politically correct, multicultural society today… the fact that different races have different average IQs, and groups with an average IQ of 80 will have an extremely difficult time finding “success” in a nation designed for and by people with 100 IQs. This is why certain races always seem to be on the bottom wherever they end up in Western Society but it’s wrongly and deliberately attributed to the specter of “RACISM” (a term invented in 1927 in the USSR for political control) rather than any attempt to address the MASSIVE and very real issue. First put forward in The Bell Curve (and absolutely confirmed in some 50+ studies since). Of course, the author has been tarred and feathered as a “racist“ for being the first to bring this data too the public.

    (This also explains why Harvard was discovered to be secretly adding 50 points to the entrance exam scores of Hispanics & Blacks while SUBTRACTING 50 points from Asian applicant’s exams. They know. They just won’t acknowledge it)..

    Divide & Conquer

    Order out of Chaos

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    Tango Tensity

    The same kids that fidget while doing "low grade clerical work" can sit and play video games for hours without distraction. ADHD?!?

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    Money spent on education does not get to the classroom, as most goes to administration. This has always been the case even 50 years ago. He is correct as it is about conformity instead of a well rounded education. As art, and music and not teaching to a test as is common today. As Art and Music teach math in application as opposed to just numbers on a board. Numbers mean nothing unless they are applied to something. The one thing missing here is there is little to get people interested, as even the fun classes such as chemistry, machine shop, wood shop and other things that teach valuable skills that can be used the first day on the job, and at home on your own stuff. We don't have classes that are practical that teach things that are useful and such things are not worth being involved with as their is no apparent value to anyone other than the administration of the school as it is money to them when students are there and little more.

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    what he's saying is so true. i started wondering, when we were taught the three Rs R eading, W riting and A rithmetic , now there's irony. yep, they all contain the letter R, so why not algeb R a, and any other subject, with the letter R in it ? and this thing, about conform, you all have to be the same. forget about imagination or originality, just think, what your told to think. brainwashing or what ?

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    Vincent Law

    Scientists and other people with brains are telling this story for years now, all over the world. It would be time to actually DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

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    Stewart Rap

    This sounds like a virtue signalling elitist making grand statements about how things ideally should be without actually proposing any concrete steps that would address our problems.

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    Chris Blue

    STEM education is the problem with kids these days, they aren't learning about History, and many have terrible English skills.

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    Gaia Verita

    Did you forget the Holocaust? How many children died being victims of lab experiments and separated from their mothers forever. Nobody talks about it.

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    Hans Rosendahl

    Very insightful and inspirational, I could not agree more. Learning and creativity can’t be mechanistically forced. It is also important to understand that education is a basic human right that is an investment into the future of a nation rather than a cost-problem that needs to be addressed. I am very proud of the education system we have in Finland although it is far from perfect and needs to be improved further.

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    Breezy Breezy

    Education is for the education industry participants, it is not for kids or their parents. Don’t be silly. Kids and parents don’t get to make decisions how they get educated, bureaucrat and for profit organizations do.

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    Anirudh Kanaparthy

    😭😭 Well, US is trying to change its edu sys… Meanwhile… Indian parents r still hoping to give birth to Engineers or Doctors…

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    Bob Smithers

    The depraved curiosity that they are piquing in the children is hyper-sexualization with a homosexual agenda in the Forefront and scrambling their little Minds with insane misgivings of multiple genders other than man and woman, boy and girl. This is a can of worms that this man is speaking of. And when he mentioned anything about diversity among individual people and specifically children the crowd became a little quieter, because the agenda behind the closed doors is to create automatons that are identical virtually in every way from thinking especially and action close second.

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    Michael Mason

    I have never seen a more relaxed speaker. His arms stay mostly at his sides and yet seem natural, even naturally active there. And he does not fussing with notes or computers. Nonetheless, he has his audience fully engaged.

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    Truth Seaker

    The American education system was set up to create obedient factory workers. Its the worst system in the western world.

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    Truth Seaker

    The American education system was set up to create obedient factory workers. Its the worst system in the western world.

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    Gort Newton

    I spent 8 years in private school – fun. The next 4 in a public school – misery. Teachers were concerned with their issues and causes and were frightened of being uncovered at working at a low standard by testing. Politics (left-wing garbage) wasn't strong but was present. It's now VERY STRONG in public schools.

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    Well, the problem is the dumbasses running schools are concerned with pushing politics and not hiring real TEACHERS. Schools are so bad that when Mark Dice did an interview about the Fourth of July's purpose in California, the answers were unbelievable. Not a single one could name why we celebrate July 4!

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    George Smiley

    Trivium method removed from U.S. education system decades ago. Teach how to think, not what to think, and you become independent and your enslavement is less assured.

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    He is right. I was in college to be teacher in the 1980's. Teachers then taught us to learn. It changed. my son was harmed by the no child left behind. all rights reserved

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    LJ Adkins

    Until I had a passionate teacher for history, all previous teachers made history boring.
    This teacher brought history alive!
    Same thing happened with English.
    Until I had a teacher passionate about English, it was boring.

    These two EDUCATORS cared about their students, too.

    Wherever you are Ms Crago and Ms Yankovich, thank you again! A million times over, thank you!

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    Philip McGee

    After a 50 year career in education, ranging from working in elementary schools to being a professor in several graduate schools, I have come to the conclusion that I can not teach anyone, anything.
    The best I can do, is to create an environment in which students can teach themselves with my help and guidance as a mentor, coach, and advocate. Bottom line to becoming a successful teacher: Love your students, become a servant teacher, set your ego aside and do everything you can to see that they succeed. Thank you Dr. Ivor Davies – Indiana University.

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    Your Name

    19 minutes of absolutely NOTHING tangible or constructive – only buzzwords, BS and politically correct mumbo jumbo feelgood nonsense. Like almost all pedagogic 'scientists' responsible for schooling, he probably KNOWS NOTHING about The Human Cognitive Architecture and how the brain ACTUALLY works, what memory IS, etc. A useless EGO-oriented joker instead of someone taking the task seriously…. Shameful!

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    ayesha noor

    exactly, children get bored with sitting and learning. systematic learning, it numbs your mental development.

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    Johny Doe

    Here in America due to forced multiculturalism moral is low amongst teachers they really don’t care. Secondly education goes by zip code the richer areas the better paid teachers the more wealthy pool together securing their areas. All those Countries you’ve mentioned are mostly homogeneous look at America before 1965 we were in the top 3 best educated then came forced integration and immigration changes and so the rich started segregating Cities and securing culdesac neighborhoods for themselves I would know I lived it growing up in the City during integration it was absolutely horrible watching Irish teachers kicking section 8 kids out of class disrupting our studies…..

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    Joan Landes, MA CMHC

    A new private school for boys is 80% outdoor learning in forests, farms, parks, businesses, museums, rec centers etc. A lot of schools got rid of recess— got rid of the school building!

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    Trafalgar D. Law

    Our government knows whats wrong with the system, they just dont care to change it. Our system promotes comfort, which is a trait we value in the animals we eat. Its all about keeping the sheep grazing because if they weren't there would be no system! Tear down the wall!

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    Afroze Anis Nawaz

    In case you are not already aware, parents in America should read this book called "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America" by Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt.

    A pdf copy of the book is available on Google Search or and you can watch a video of the author on YouTube.

    Attaching the link to download the book. It will help you discover the American Education system.

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    Chijioke Madubuko

    We need you sir, in Nigeria. So much creativity going to waste. In fact what you're trying to do here for education can be applied in governance.

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    Organisation Ramon Llull

    All dumb people clapping, including me! NO MORE TESTS! TESTS ARE HATE SPEECH, TESTS ARE FASCISTS! XD

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    John White

    the finnish model is fine, but really, do you think Finland is at all like, say comparably-sized Maryland ? Maryland doesn't control its tax base as we re a federal system. and the state is AFR mote diverse, let alone far more students coming from very young (infnland average age of first pregnancy is 32!!) single parent and even addicted parent households….lkest get real-study after study shows its your parents, even more than your teachers that determine educational acquisition and success.

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    With the way it is now, you have to wait till you are 16-18 to finally find the education you want. I always passed my high school grades with just enough to go around. Now I'm doing the university study I want and I joined its Honors Academy while in all of high school my Latin teacher was telling me I should go to HAVO (which is a lower level of high school education with which you can't go to university). At the very least I'm glad I didn't let them stop me from studying at my level.

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    sudhir sale

    Best line people think "British are reserved, but we aren't, because we ruled every possible land" hahahaha

    Superb talk 🙏🏼👍

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    Juliette MacDonald

    Excellent subject, presentation, + wonderful intention.
    But just like way back when homeopathy (treatment of disease by treating the whole body through diet, acupuncture, visualization, + using combinations of herbs + flower seeds as treatments) was achieving success associates of the Rothschilds came to the school +, after making a considerable DONATION requested they sit on the board of directors.
    Soon homeopathy was slowly replaced by invasive surgeries + experimental medications.
    People like the Rothschilds ,
    Bushes (Jr + Sr), the Dupont’s, + other families that make up the “deep state” or “shadow government”- they control everything + in schools they DON’T WANT children with imaginations….our future leaders.
    The government wants no one to challenge the way those who are “AWAKE”
    bleakly see the depopulation plan of Agenda 21 + 30 working well.
    We are all having our immune systems weakened by chemicals in our water, Monsanto’s GMO’s have contaminated our food sources by spraying the crops with glycosate.
    These crops are sold to the food companies + these harmful chemicals are in all our food, meats, dairy products.
    One man, Dwight “Lee” Johnston, was a groundskeeper who used Monsanto’s weed killer “RoundUp”, that contained glycosate, + he sued Monsanto while dying with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma + received $78 million dollars.
    We all need to investigate these problems further +, if it’s true, ensure this company is shut down (+ those in charge charges for damages) because we have all been poisoned.
    Then take on the FDA- where were they during all of this ???
    They are supposed to be not allowing harmful substances to come in contact with us…fluoride in our drinking water, Chen trails, chemicals in our food, etc????

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    Brian T Wrynn

    The US National Park Service contradicts what he says about Death Valley: "Despite its reputation as a lifeless wasteland, Death Valley National Park contains a great diversity of plants. The park covers over 3 million acres of Mojave and Great Basin desert terrain, with elevations ranging from 282 feet below sea level at Badwater Basin to 11,049 feet on the summit of Telescope Peak. Annual precipitation varies from 1.9 inches on the valley floor to over 15 inches in the higher mountains.
    Vegetation zones include creosote bush, desert holly, and mesquite at the lower elevations up through shadscale, blackbrush, Joshua tree, pinyon-juniper, to sub-alpine limber pine and bristlecone pine woodlands. The saltpan is devoid of vegetation, and the rest of the valley floor and lower slopes have sparse cover, yet where water is available, an abundance of vegetation is usually present.

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    Thank you, Sir.. You (your speaches) saved me when my children were at school …every time the teachers tried to convince me that my children are inadeguate and I am a horrible mother, I listened to one of them and was fine again 🙂 Thank you very much.

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    My radar goes up whenever a "Sir" is on stage. (Not a big believer in blue-blood and "the divine right to rule)
    He's engaging, clever, funny, and – as usual interjecting truth with programming.
    Utilizing "other animals" in the presentation has the audience disarmed with humor and agreement with the opinion and information being espoused and exposed.

    And agreeing that they're all animals.
    The physical body is a vessel. You are not an animal.

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    Sick and tired Of complaining

    This is a tremendous guy, funny , intelligent,fun to listen to and absolutely fucking correct 100%

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    Chris White

    4k words later…(no i didn't count them)…what did he say besides lots of metaphors and funny statements? School is boring, alternative schools are better…and then death valley got some rain and grew flowers…! Some inspiring pretty words, but not much of anything…except for this one phrase…"create a climate of possibility…and people will rise to it."
    But my cynicism guesses that this is Climate Change speech, as it was all feelings and no substance. Feeding the Leftis "Feel Good" base.

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    Walter Moss

    You ain't saying anything that we should do at Large, however, you are not givibg me any ideas of how to persuade the ignorants, including yourself!

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    Rick White

    The principle problem here in the States is that the public education system is owned — lock, stock, and barrel — by the teachers' unions, and their mission is to look out for their members, whether they are good teachers or not. In fact, it is the bad teachers who benefit most from the unions, as good teachers really don't need the union. Politicians — usually Democrats — make the laws, policies, and spending decisions, and they are owned by the NEA. It's just that simple. I'll wager that Finland and the other countries that surpass us don't have anything like that.

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    clock watch

    This witty stand up looks like he would do a far better job helping Britain through the Brexit crisis than Boris Johnson, who is nothing but a clown. 🇪🇺🇬🇧🤡🇬🇧🇪🇺

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    C CC

    They drop out because they know they are going to get a government check if they sit on their butts for the rest of their life! Stop enabling them to do nothing and get paid for it and they'll learn very quickly to do the work and better themselves.

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    johnny vine

    Education reached its zenith in 1800 to 1850, the romantic era. The first public funded school opened in London in late 1880's and from then on, slowly but surely the education standard dropped into decline ever since. Governments are only good at dividing our hard earned taxes. A Public servant run institution can't run a bath let alone run a school system. The nuns pre 1850's were doing fine. Inexpert experimentations, institutionalized teaching and a union driven public system that places more emphasis on what Sir Robinson was commenting on, including an imbalanced focus on individual teachers needs, rather than placing the focus on its students, is dumbing down the next generation, your children. Today our kids can't even tell the difference between a boy and a girl, ,let alone grasp pure scientific fact.Christian schools did well as they were run by selfless dedicated nuns, they simply put the needs of their pupils first. That's how we entered the age of enlightenment.

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    Henry Gourlay

    While all of this seems reasonable, an important factor is the attitude the child brings with him into the classroom. This they get from home. If their parents have little interest in education, or in fact are hostile to education, then no matter what system you put in place that specific child will be a problem. I taught for many years in the sadly misnamed British comprehensive system. I would like to see Sir Ken Robinson teach a class of stoppy 14 year olds for say six months.
    I have always found it interesting that the 'experts' on education have little or no actual experience teaching a class in a normal state school. They may teach in universities, sit on high powered committees, write government reports etc etc, but the day to day reality of trying to teach both information/knowledge and stimulate interest in poorly motivated pupils is something they know nothing about.
    If you really want to know what is wrong with education, ask the teachers; you know, the people that actually do the job.

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    Michael Keehn

    Brilliantly spoken and well-presented, with humor. The problems in education are inherit in its leadership and it is by Design. Look at interviews with Charlotte iserbyt who was hired by the federal government to quote dumb down the children unquote this is a deliberate agenda and effective attack on the minds of the youth so they can be merged into a socialist system as mindless sheeple. The plan is being well implemented

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    Jo Jo

    lol. from Finland :). Yeah, we had no drop out rate as we did not let students to drop. There was something called support teaching BY A TEACHER HERSELF in private one to one with a teacher BEFORE SHE FAILED! Support was given to those whose numbers were going down! Even from 8/10 to 7/10.
    IN EVERY SUBJECT WITH DIFFERENT TEACHEŔ except the two first classes when you are just 7 and 8 years old.
    Nobodg was left behind. If they failed, they went to the summer school to cach up!

    And we had glorious school dinners for free!

    class lasted 45 minutes and then outside to plaý with a ball and EVERYBODY was involved!

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    Fiona Louise

    What an utterly brilliant speech! He has everything, brevity of words, humour throughout and a serious message with a solution at the end. He also comes across as an extremely likable person and at ease with speaking. Watching this, you are enlightened not only about education and it's problems, but also learn how to deliver an exceptional speech.

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