August 13, 2019 100

How School Makes Kids Less Intelligent | Eddy Zhong | [email protected]

How School Makes Kids Less Intelligent | Eddy Zhong | TEDxYouth@BeaconStreet

Translator: Yulia Kallistratova
Reviewer: Denise RQ I want to share with you
a big secret today. And it’s not one that a lot of you
are going to want to hear. But at the same, time it’s so important
that I have to tell you. That secret is this: what if I told you that every singe day kids go to school
they become less intelligent? Now, how could that be possible? When kids go to school
they learn things, right? And they accumulate more knowledge. So if anything,
they should be getting smarter. How could they possibly
be getting less intelligent? What am I talking about? Well, I do hope
to illustrate that to you today. Before I turned 14, I was a kid
that did not know what he wanted in life. So usually, when you go up
to a 5 or 6 year old and you ask him, “What do you want to be
when you grow up?”, he’ll say, ” An astronaut,”
or “A businessman”. I wanted to be a professional
Call of Duty player. (Laughter) And since I had no idea about
what I wanted to be when I grew up, I just listened to my parents
almost 100% of the time. I trusted that they knew
what was best for me. My parents wanted out of me what any typical parent
would want out of his child: go to school, keep up your grades, get out and exercise,
once every few years. (Laughter) And I was trying to do
everything they asked of me, except the problem was
I wasn’t even that good at school. I was terrible at science, could not write a 5-paragraph essay
if my life had depended on it. And to this day I still think I’m the only Asian kid in the world
who does not understand math. (Laughter) I really do. But when I turned 14 that all changed. I was no longer this hot air balloon
and floating around in space, I was now like a supersonic jet
flying toward my destination at 50,000 miles an hour
or however fast those things go. This change all started
when I received an envelope with the mail. It was an invitation
– not to a birthday party, I did not get any of those –
not to a playground, but to a business plan
competition down in Boston. And I was curious, I was
just so curious that I had to go. The program director explained to us
that over five months, we would form a team,
develop a business idea, and present this idea
to a panel of judges, who would be judging us how good our suits are,
and how good our business ideas were. And a long story short,
over those five months I formed a team, developed an idea, and we actually ended up winning that competition
and taking home a check. And that one event sparked my interest for going to more and more
of these competitions. Over the next two years of my life, I actually went to dozens and dozens
of these competitions, and I was winning almost all of them. And I realized that I liked
going to them so much not just because I liked winning them but also because I had
an unrealized passion. That was a passion for creating things. Because the one thing
that my team would do differently from our other competitors,
every single time, was well, everyone would go up and present
their idea and their PowerPoint, we would go to a home depot, buy supplies, and actually build
the idea we were talking about. And the judges were just so blown away by the fact that a bunch of teenagers
could go and create things, can make prototypes,
and [have] minimum viable products. We won almost every single competition just because the judges loved
that we had gone and executed it. At one of these competitions I met a short-tempered,
middle-aged Polish guy named Frank. If he is here today
I’d better run after this. (Laughter) He came up to us, took a look
at our prototype, and said: “I can help you guys
turn this into a real company.” Think about that. Isn’t that cool? We are 16 years olds,
we are going out into the world and creating a real
hardware technology startup. At first we were all like,
“Time to be Steve Jobs, let’s go build Apple,
dropping out of school now.” But we quickly realized
it’s not that easy. So, don’t drop out unless
you’re really sure you have a good idea. But… (Laughter) We’ve realized that the first part
to building a great company is to assemble a great team. And as students, we couldn’t go to bars to network,
to networking events for adults, so we went to our school and set up this little presentation
in our auditorium, in which we would present our idea
and hopefully kids would join our team. We sent out an invitation
to our entire school. And the first thing we noticed
is that almost no one showed up. There was almost no interest. And those who did show up
spread the rumor around the school and throughout that week,
we were actually marked, we were made fun of for our ideas
and for being wannabe Mark Zuckerbergs. (Laughter) What’s funny is, the next week after,
we took the exact same presentation, and did it at our elementary school
so to kids who were 5 or 6 years younger. And the response was phenomenal. These kids were throwing
their lunch money at us asking if they could buy a prototype. (Laughter) They were asking
for our pre-money valuation, which I know you guys know
from watching Shark Tank, but it was amazing that these kids
even knew terms like that existed when they were too young to even probably
pronounce some of these words. That just inspired me so much. And I think this is what
our education system has done. Over just these 5 to 6 years
in the education system, these creative children
have turned into these teenagers that are unwilling to think
outside of the box. So let’s go back to that secret
I was talking about. How is it possible that school
is making kids less intelligent? The fact is, there is so much more
than just one type of intelligence. While school can make you
more academically intelligent, it can teach you
physics, algebra, calculus, it is diminishing the children’s
creative intelligence. It is teaching them
to think in a certain way, to go down a certain path in life, it’s telling them: go
to high school, get a diploma, go to a good college, find a stable job, and if you don’t do that,
you won’t be successful. And if that was true,
how am I even standing here today? How did I, a straight C student, start a technology company
at the age of 16? And how is my company, which was featured
on a Wall Street Journal last week, doing better that some of the companies
started by Harvard and Stanford graduates? It must be something
that can’t be measured by academic intelligence alone. So, here is what I believe. Parents, teachers, educators, you have the power
to influence and inspire youth. The fact is, there are way too many
people out there right now who are obsessed with telling kids to go to college, to find a good job,
and to be “successful”. There are not enough who are telling kids to explore more possibilities,
to become entrepreneurs. And if there’s one message that I want
parents, kids, and all of you to take away from
what I’ve said here today is that you can open your own doors, that you can stray away
from this conventional, limited, and narrow path
that education sets us upon. You can diverge
and create your own future. You can start your own companies
and start your own non-profits. You can create, you can innovate. And if there’s one message
I want you to take away from everything I’ve said, it is this: no one has ever changed the world by doing what the world
has told them to do. Thank you. (Applause)

100 Replies to “How School Makes Kids Less Intelligent | Eddy Zhong | [email protected]

  • Odysseyguy870 says:

    I don’t know how finding the area of a rectangle is going to help me in life. I went to the bathroom without permission once just to see what would Happen and got I’m serious trouble, in art, you have to do what the teacher wants you to do. school is useless and we are wasting most of our lives on it.

  • Unbox Gamer says:

    The only thing school thought me is how to wake up early and get to school at time and waste 7 hours of my life everyday

  • Patti Murphy says:

    I never went to college..because my brain is more artistic. I started my own retail stor/stores and grew them when I was just 23…now 52. I never understood college for the creative minds.

  • Lyimo Ej says:

    African colonial education which most nations inherited is like a graveyard

  • Fantasy Films says:

    We haven’t even had s*x education yet (I’m in grade 7) and I know what s*x is, I don’t when I learn that but now I do.

  • Hoenn4Ever says:

    Honestly, as someone who hate school, I'd say my only reason why I still go to school is because of the diploma for the most part, or to meet my friends but that doesn't really matter to me since I have their contact on my phone. I would agree that school is useful in kindergarten until some of the years in elementary but after that, you just get piled up with a bunch of works the teachers gave you, learn useless things you don't like or find to be useful, etc. That's why I would rather learn things myself, and I would say I learn more about my favorite studies such as history from the internet rather than school.

  • DereC says:

    The reactions are killing me

  • Void says:

    Yes! My school banned the word anime because they thought the it was the same thing a being goth and the if you were goth you had a mental disorder and would commit suicide.

  • Richard Ball says:

    True educators teach their students how to think and aquire knowledge… the life lessons that are truly valuable rarely occur in a classroom.

    Sadly, our education system continues to dictate What to think, and who they should cite.

    We need a better education system…

  • legofanguyvid says:

    so a kid get's lucky becaues he get's an invitation to a business thing and goes from there, how does this help me get a job in manufacturing that isn't in china?

  • jack jack says:

    Y u no doctor yet?

  • Randall W says:

    I think the people commenting how horrible school is just don't get the idea of school.

    School throws all these subjects at you so you can get a grasp on what you want to do. Creativity comes to those who are truly curious. This video has a secret motive; if everyone quit school and started their own business 90% would fail and work for the other 10%. The problem isn't school, it's lack of motivation among people; among other things

  • Simple Brian says:

    I turned in a 3 (It only needed 1) page essay on a topic I really love and have a lot of understanding in.

    I got an equivalent of an F on that assignment…

    The fact that I learned the more practical types of knowledge about life itself (Things like how to actually cook, answering interview questions, drawing etc.) From the internet is the most worrying part. I do not need to learn how to find the velocity of a freaking rocket if only given its length to be computer programmer!

  • testyhawk 7 says:

    It's an Asian let's believe him

  • Gaming For A Day says:

    I think when we still studying at school, people will think that school are just for kiddo

  • Gaming For A Day says:

    Education / Knowledge Are not just in school, in School there is people that can share you their knowledge, but now the world think That go to school if you want to be smart, Like What?? Knowledge / Education = School…I don't understand

  • Gaming For A Day says:

    You know how those teachers know anything that they studied? See how the science and nature works, And then they request to become a "Teacher" at school to make money for their living

  • Gaming For A Day says:

    If you don't want go to school, What's wrong?

  • Gaming For A Day says:

    If I think I want go to school, I will go there, If don't Want, I will Not…..Simple

  • Gage Doomfield says:

    That moment when you realized schools were made to create ideal factory workers.

  • Amanda Ouellet says:

    Was that a kid? Whoa mind blown. He is a genius.

  • Ganimidis says:

    You should have listened to your parents, you probably would not have ended here on YouTube..

  • Crystal The AquaMarine Ninja says:

    I wrote a 4 page story instead of 1 page and she told me to rewrite it because it was "too long".

  • Direction and Magnitude says:

    It is about memory. When people ask; "What did you learn today?" I think for a moment and tell them what I *remembered*.
    I realize that I learn very little and remember a lot. For example, I (remember) how to do some algebra/pre-algebra. But Have completely lost the ability to do long division. I discovered this in a lesson about calculating something about time. I didn't remember how to do it because I didn't need or use it for 2 years, and haven't done so since. My frustration with the current school system makes me admire the Finnish system at an increased scale, and I don't see why changes aren't being made. Even within a private school, the standard systems has a firm grip, and I can see how some of my peers are being controlled by it. By controlled I mean by a mentality. The standard 1st-5th grades condition most students to value assignments very highly. By that I mean it takes priority, not just at school but at home. As a student, and from a 3rd person perspective homework makes no sense. Homework is obsolete and unnecessary because It, is, only work. The same work you would do in school, just more of it. I don't have an answer to balance this But look at other systems ({FINLAND}) to get the system to change.

  • shanif Bhat says:

    i hate school bcoz the teachers shows more interest towards the children that are brilliant and neglects the children which are weak in studies

    if i forgot to do homework i am punished by teachers and if that class monitor or any other brilliant student forgots then teachers say nothing to him . sorry for my bad english.!

  • Noah Hunts vlogs says:

    Just like princes ea love it.

  • Marty Cech says:

    This is an Excellent TED Talk

  • RAHEIM Deofficial says:

    8:26 no one has ever change the world by doing what the world has told them to do!!!

  • Naman Jain says:

    Students cheat because schools value grades more than they value their students. Faculty and parents treat students like machines built to operate the way they are told. Individuality is more important than an ACT score. We need to stop labeling people by a number. We are people, not statistics. Why don't schools focus on teaching our youth the important lessons of life, instead of how to find the cosine of a circle.

  • Mahek says:

    No one has ever changed the world by
    Doing what the world has told them to do….


  • pune mana si invată fmm says:

    School is for sad workers

  • kahea2018 says:

    All those people laughing and they zoom in on the one guy who's not. Lol

  • xxhalogamer22xx says:

    So that's why dropouts are billionaires

  • 123 456 says:

    Thats called luck m8

  • Francis Okudu says:

    Teachers are Cheaters

  • janna says:

    for some weird miracle our english teacher made us watch this video lmfao

  • Frosty Game Reviews says:

    Instant clickbait for school kids.

  • Jonathan Lin says:


  • Thuy Le says:

    My teacher forced me to do her way to solve a physic question. I did my own way (which was correct) and got an F

  • lil volu says:

    Our educattion system doesnt necessarily make kids less intelligent, it just makes them less enthusiastic and they don'tt want to do new things

  • Blini cat says:

    Schools force kids to learn useless information like trig.

  • Gurdeep Singh says:

    phenomenal video

  • Felix little hands says:

    They told us to be a creative person, but why do their kill our creativity?

  • SpaghttiMachete says:

    Ah yes because those children in Africa are doing so well in starting up and running their own business this does raise the point that you don't need school to be successful but this only works for certain people.

  • Ethan Dude says:

    Intelligence is memory why is everyone complaining about exams being about memory, when intelligence is just memory. All creative things you do is from memory. Without memory you wouldn't know how to draw, play a instrument, or anything at all. It makes perfect sense they test on memory.

  • Let'sPlayGames says:

    Watching this in school makes me a little sad tho…

  • sourav rout says:

    2:02 , He attacked him after 8:44

  • Spencer Sun says:

    School is (to me) too easy, School is such a waste of 1/3 of my day.

  • Aj fashion says:

    I liked

  • CuriousG says:

    4:57 Actuall part of the video

  • RAMS Best says:

    You sound like small robot

  • Thomas Dukes says:


  • Jonabob says:

    If only schools would listen to things like this.

  • Alice Wilde says:

    not one employer ever asked to see my GCSE certificates

  • luqman Simple says:

    The only Asian kid who doesn't understand math….. Your not the only one broo☹️

  • Mamed Aliyev says:

    Ранний стендап Нурлана Сабурова )

  • Jek says:

    "I'm the only Asian kid in the world who does not understand math"

    You're not the only one in this world bro hahahah and that's me also. I can see myself in you😂😂

  • Indecisive Explorer says:

    I highly doubt a research and development company would hire someone without the appropriate diploma. It can be expensive to build a prototype, depending on what it is. With poor knowledge of math and science I think it likely the brains behind the prototypes, if technological, were the teammates. Owning and operating a business successfully is different than learning to be a brain surgeon or having the skills and knowledge to develop something new. How do you do anything if you don't know how to bring it into reality with knowledge? If you want a specific metal piece cast that you can't buy, then where do you go? If you want certain pieces of wood cut to a certain specification, then what? How do you afford all that? If you cannot be sure if it will work before you test it out, and dont have the money to try it, then your stuck. Patents are expensive. In many ways you really do need money to make money. And Einstein went to school.

  • Tommy_ 31 says:

    I learn more from watching an hour's worth of TedTalks than spending a week at school.

  • pristine Thapa says:

    I also hate math 😂😂🤣🤣🤣I love the way u talk

  • ironically_iconic says:

    I had to label 8 maps, create a chart describing a country, write 5 essays about the correlation of geography to a country, cite all sources for the essays, and list the definition of 22 words over summer break. I have to turn it in and take a test on one of the continent (no clue which one or how to remember the many countries, rivers, mountains, etc.) on the first day of school if it’s not finished or if I don’t do good on the test I’ll be kicked out of the class, I’m just a freshman… I hate school.

  • Roccolipizza says:

    I have a friend named eddy zhong

  • Samantha Diep says:

    “What if I told you that every single day that kids go to school, they became less intelligent?”

    I just graduated high school, don’t do this to me.

  • Carrotsand cucumbers says:

    Experience is more important than imagination amd knowledge

  • Ws Dj says:

    this is why im starting a movement to change the school system

  • Hyo-Sonn Jeon says:

    I love this guy

  • SUGA HOBI says:

    I gave up my sophomore year I went to school 1-2 days a week honestly I can tell you my stress level went from 1000000 to 5 and I did better my sophomore year than I did my freshman 💆🏽‍♀️

  • tripeboi says:

    2.2k teachers and college professors don't like this video.

  • Lt. Dan says:

    I learn more life enlightening things on YouTube than I ever learned in 19 years of school.

  • Sapphire Conran says:

    I’m in uni right now studying Game Art and loving it !!! I was a straight A student throughout GCSE and A-level, I can tell you school made me miserable, even art because it restricted me from doing what I wanted, I had to follow a bloody criteria. I have no idea why they haven’t changed the way it all works yet.

  • LGanimations says:

    School: causes depression stress and bullying
    Also school: Spreads awareness about it to lower those rates, but it doesn’t work

    Me: You have become the thing you swore to destroy

  • Trang Lam says:

    Am I the only one who likes school?

  • The Empire of Valeria says:

    "Knowledge is almost pointless if not used to help another person"

    School doesn't teach you and give you knowledge, they bombard you with continuous homework and tests. School crushes dreams, because of the importance of school and your social life, you stop dreaming, you stop believing in yourself. School stops becoming an "adventure" everyday, it' now a place where kids go to just have a part of their life taken away from them. School most importantly, stops children from dreaming.
    You're gonna die one day and if you just want to sit around not doing anything, like what a school does, your talents and ideas will be wasted.

  • NaTae 78 says:

    The dislikes are from teachers

  • Fire Phoenix says:

    It a secret anymore

  • Davork says:

    School is jail, but worse.

  • Drave says:

    Only things which I got from school are depression and dissapointment.

  • onlymyself a.r says:

    Wait wtf he wasn't 14

  • Alpaca• says:

    And this is my next excuse on why i didnt do my homework

  • Noah Tucker says:

    1:47 random white dude who doesn’t understand the difference between stereotypes and actual fact: “impossible”

  • Sukhwinder Singh Mehra says:

    Only thing I got was schools make you less intelligent but how exactly? Without that piece how can I undo what damage they have done?

  • Andrew567 says:

    This is what happens when you put the government in charge of the education system

  • phazer abolo'nulds says:

    ya boys sounds like hes still 11

  • Sophia Hawkinson says:

    Angsty teens have joined the chat

  • exitdoorproductions says:

    Mom! I have something to show you.

  • MrPingeee says:

    The "education system" only cares about money, not how hard you work or if you're actually learning something, that's why you have to pay to get your degree in university, everything is about money

  • BenUnlimited says:


  • Dragon Wolf says:

    Everyone reading this comment, all the comments for this video are spectacular.
    (Excluding mine)

  • Dragon Wolf says:

    I'm able to understand his words only because I watch movies and surf the internet.
    Not because of the English classes in school.

  • Jake The beaver says:

    I like this

  • Jake The beaver says:

    The only thing I like about school is that their is a therapy dog that is a corgi named patty

  • Judah Harrigan says:

    Gotta say he looks really good in that suit. Also his point was legendary

  • voicedify says:

    While he brings up a lot of good points, it is easy for him to say because he's abnormally motivated and intelligent, has abnormally motivated and intelligent friends, and happened to meet the right person at the right place at the right time. Even after all those years of conventional schooling up to the ripe old age of 16, school hasn't dumbed him down much, if any, has it? Otherwise, how else is he able to think independently of authoritative figures and outside of the box? No matter what route you take, success is difficult.

  • Airbender19 says:

    2:04 dude in the crowd was offended on the kid's behalf from that math joke. Lmao

  • Aaron Bulmahn says:

    I think he got like a part of the truth.
    There are definitely the problems he talks about in schools all around the world.
    But he also doesn’t use any useful data to show that. He points out a correlation between going to school and those kids being dickish, refusing his idea. But there is also a correlation between such a behaviour and puberty e.g.
    I don’t mean to be nitpicking here, his talk is still good and he’s probably already more successful than I am. But still just scroll through the comments, how often will you see the phrase that “schools want memory not intelligence”. Those problems are widely known so offering solutions would be the next step

  • The gunslinger says:

    Teacher let's learn about fake greek mythology

    First of all. That won't help me in life at all.
    Secondly. Greek legends are all unrealistic, fake.
    Thirdly. A FRICKING WASTE OF TIME! Better learn something on the PC but not how to use Paint cuz the future is that. What happened 2600 years ago isn't inportant in today's world. Will i be succesful cuz i know what happened to the minotaurus? Of course not.

  • The gunslinger says:

    The teachers i hate the most are:
    Romanian (i have to learn that)
    P E
    And the PC teacher (first she teaches how to paint then she throws us in scratch and puts us to animate or what)

  • Boo Hoo says:

    Personally I believe that to create a stable future you have to fixate on learning something on your own, for example if you want to be a programmer, put in maybe 3-4 hours very single day learning to code and building your own projects, you won't get the same education in school whatsoever. To get good at something you need a passion for it, most people don't have a passion for the trivial school curriculum, and therefore don't get good results or put in the work that won't pay off more than let's say if you were to individually fixate on learning a specific useful skill.

  • Calvin Ng says:

    Wow what’s wrong with all your teachers in the comments? Mine were never that strict.

  • Jomar Panganiban says:

    I can learn through memes

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