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• good morning boys and girls

• (mumbling from crowd) that was terrrible

• you've learned how to do that from a young age, you're supposed to say

• good morning mister Godin, so let's try again

• good morning boys and girls. (from crowd) good morning mr Godin

• have you thought about what that's for

• have you thought about how

• for a hundred

• hundred and fifty years

• that was ingrained into the

• process

• of public education

• and he thought at all

• as people on the cutting edge

• as people who are interested in making school work again

• simple question

• what

• is school for?

• i don't think we're answering that question

• i don't even think we're asking

• that question

• everyone seems to think they know what school is for

• but we're not going to make anything happen

• until we can all agree

• about how we got here

• and where we're going

• my goal today

• first we have to understand

• what school used to be for

• there is a woman

• named mary yvette boule

• and she

• came up with this notion, she was a mathematician in the late eighteen hundreds

• that you can use string and nails and wood and make decorations those things with

• where the string goes back and forth

• and there is math

• built into that

• and that a teacher on the cutting edge a fifth graders might decide

• to use that idea of modulo nine and remainders and string going back and forth

• to teach

• an important lesson about math, so this memo went home

• to all the parents

• at my kids public school and said

• we need help with this

• we need hammers

• so i'm sort of unemployed i showed up at school that day with a

• bag of hammers

• a big bag of eighteen hammers, now i don't know

• if you've ever heard

• eighteen kids

• hitting nails

• with eighteen hammers

• in a little room

• for twenty minutes, but i have

• i'm not gonna do it for you because it's really hard to listen to it

• and what the teacher explained to the kids is

• they must arrange the brads in this certain pattern

• hammering hammering hammering and make sure they're in there nice and firm

• as so these kids are hammering hammering hammering, twenty minutes of zero education just

• twenty minutes of hammering

• and then

• the teacher walks over and she says to a boy

• I told you

• to make sure the brads were all the way in

• and one

• by one she pulled them out

• and threw them on the floor every single one

• and put the board down and that

• is what she believed

• school was for

• school

• good morning boys and girls

• starts the day

• with respect

• and obedience

• now i have to move on to frederick j kelly

• some of you brought your own number two pencil for the quiz that is going to be part of

• today

• the number two pencil is famous

• because frederick j kelly made it famous

• back around world war one

• we had a problem which was that ther was this huge influx of students 'cause we'd

• expanded the school date include high school

• and there was this huge need to sort them all out

• so he invented

• the standardized test

• an abomination

• and he gave it up ten years later when the emergency was over

• but because he gave it up because you called it out because he said the

• standardized test is to crude

• to be used

• he was ostracized and lost his job

• as the president

• of a university because he dared to speak up

• against

• a system

• that was working

• so let's try a little experiment here, i'd like everyone to go ahead and raise your

• right hand just as high as you possibly can

• now please raise it a little higher

• hmm

• what's that about (laughter from crowd)

• my instructions were pretty clear and yet you all held back how come? you held back because

• you've been taught since you were three years old to hold a little bit back

• because if you do everything if you put all out

• little bit more aren't they

• and the reason they will is because we are products of the industrial age

• the industrial age made us all rich

• the industrial age brought productivity to the table

• productivity allowed human beings working together with a boss and a

• manager

• to make more than they could ever make alone

• productivity makes us a car for seven hundred dollars instead of seven hundred

• thousand dollars

• in nineteen twenty

• productivity

• and industrialism is this

• the people who ran factories

• problem number one

• they looked around i said we don't have enough workers

• we don't have enough people who are willing to move off the farm

• and come to this dark building for twelve hours a day

• six days a week and do what they are told

• if we can get more workers we could pay them less

• and if we can pay them less

• we'd make more money

• we need more workers

• and so

• the k_k_k_

• went to

• industrialists and said you need to get those kids out of the factories those

• people you're paying three dollars a day

• because they're taking our jobs

• and so a deal was made and the deal was universal public education whose sole

• intent

• was not to tran the scholars of tomorrow we have plenty of scholars

• it was to train people to be willing

• to work in the factory

• it was to train people

• to behave

• to comply

• to fit in

• we process you for a whole year if you are defective we hold you back and process

• you again

• we sit you in straight rows just like they organize things

• in that factory

• we build a system

• interchangeable people

• because factories are based on interchangeable parts

• this piece is no good but another piece in there

• and word charts those little boxes

• are all designed to say, oh we can fit bob in there 'cause rachel didn't go

• to work today

• and so we built school, that's what school was for

• and the second thing industrialists were are really worried about

• was that we weren't going to buy all the stuff that could make

• that in eighteen eighty eighteen ninety people owned two pairs of shoes one pair of

• jeans that was it

• you don't know anyone

• who owns one pair of jeans anymore, ever

• what they needed to train us to do

• they needed to train us to fit in

• they needed to train us

• to become consumers and so horace mann, who meant well

• built the public school as we know it and they he needed more teachers right

• because you have more schools so he built a school for teachers and you know what it's called

• the normal school

• he called it the normal school where they train people to teach in the common

• school because he wanted you to be normal

• any one of the class to be normal and he wanted people to fit in and then

• we came up with this

• the textbook

• now if you want to teach somebody

• how to become passionate about i don't know american history

• why would you give them this (laughter from crowd)

• do people walk into barnes and noble and say i'm really interested in that latest

• gripping thing that's going to get me all engaged about the civil war do you have one of those

• textbooks in stock

• if you wanted to teach someone

• how to be a baseball fan

• would you start

• by having them understand the history of baseball and who abner doubleday was and

• what barnstorming was

• and the influences of cricket

• and capitalism and the negro leagues would you do that

• would you say okay there's a test tomorrow i want you to memorize the top fifty

• batters

• in order

• by batting average

• and then rank and the people

• based at how they do on the test

• so the ones that do well get to memorize more baseball players is that how we

• would create baseball fans here is the key distinction

• what people do

• quite naturally is if it's work

• they try to figure out how to do less

• and if it's art

• we try to figure out how to do more

• and when we put

• kids in the factory we call school

• the thing we built

• to indoctrinate them into compliance

• why are we surprised that the question is

• will this be on the test

• someone who is making art

• doesn't say can i do one less canvas this month

• they don't say

• can i write one less song this month

• they don't say

• can i touch one less one fewer person this month

• it's art they want to do more of it

• but when it's work when it's your job when you're seven

• of course you want to do

• less of it

• so one of the things that i've

• done as an

• application

• is when i meet people

• i take this out

• this is a great bargain online

• and it's filled with these blocks, you've probably seen blocks before

• and i say take four blocks

• and make them into something interesting

• now it's an interesting question because you can use the letters or you can use the

• shapes or you can spell the word or you can put a profanity there or you could spell a

• word that means nothing you can make the shape into a bridge

• and people

• hate this because

• they hate this because there's no dummy's guide

• to how to make something interesting

• out of blocks when you're thirty years old

• and now

• we're at a crossroads because as a culture we stay the only thing we care about

• the only place we are willing to cross the street to go the only thing we are willing to buy the only person

• we are willing to vote for

• the only stuff we are willing to talk about

• is interesting is art

• is new

• will touch us is valuable

• and then we spend all of our money

• and all of our time teaching people not to do that

• and so we're now at this crossroads because technology is here too

• and the technology says, you know what

• for the first time in history

• we do not need a human being

• to stand next to us

• to teach us to do square roots

• for the first time in history

• we do not need a human being