This Video Shows Exactly Why America's Public Education System is Outdated

November 16th 2014

Lindsay Haskell

A whopping 94% of Americans believe that improving public education in the U.S. should be a high priority for our government - but how exactly do we go about such reforms?

In the video below, education scholar Sir. Ken Robinson proposes some bold ideas. The failure of our education system, he notes, is that it tries "to meet the future by doing what it did well in the past," which in turn "alienates millions of kids who no longer see any purpose in going to school."

Given modern technological innovation as well as economic instability in a globalized world, the 9-to-5 "clocking in" experience is no longer a guarantee for millions of people. Young workers, in fact, are likely to change jobs up to 20 times throughout their career, and yet we still rely on a fairly rigid form of education, forcing children to fit into its mold, Robinson contends. "Schools are still pretty much organized on factory lines: ringing bells, separate facilities, specialized into separate subjects. We still educate children by batches, we put them through the system by age group. Why do we do that? Why is there this assumption that the most important thing kids have in common is how old they are? It's like the most important thing about them is their date of manufacture," he states.

A standardized education system also creates homogenous thinking. One kid is better than another because they read faster at a younger age; one kid is worse than another because they haven't grasped division by a prescribed grade; the sciences are better than liberal arts because they yield better earnings (right now). All of these assumptions can degrade a child's sense of themselves and limit their view of the world as well as their own capabilities. Watch Robinson explain the need for a paradigm shift here: