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

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 Responses

  1. Ziggy963 says:

    I’m not the best students ever, I have A’s and B’s. Work, work, and more work. Pressuring students isn’t making them learn. It’s making them stress out. Taking test after test doesn’t help either. People want to go spend time with friends, people want to play, people want to enjoy the little time they have in life. We’re not here to study for weeks just to forget it and never use it again, we’re here to have fun. Yes education is important. Reading. Math. They’re important. But enjoying yourself is too.

  2. Andrik Martinez says:

    2:02 that guy didn’t get the joke

  3. giovana oliveira says:

    Who else checked if this was on April 1sr before the video started?

  4. Tomás Barrio Fernández says:

    School prepares u for the outside world

  5. If you see this don't subscribe says:

    2019 recommended: this video

    Me: I can watch this or study

  6. swapnil zanje says:

    I think those who disliked this video must be teachers 😹😹

  7. Rahul Bagalkot says:

    The great ideas comes from the Hart …what the Hart say(.. ?..) !

  8. Julie Xiang says:

    The only reason i like to go to school is bc my friends are there. But ive learned over the years as an eighth grader rn is that school is almost useless after 4/5 th grade. Most of the stuff we learn we dont even need to know. Its all just memorization

  9. PhatWeenie Power says:

    This was a poorly crafted Ted talk

  10. Sam says:

    My dad always is telling me to get good grades and to go to college. I have noticed that now that I’m in middle school, my grades are falling a little bit and I honestly do not give a flip and I think we as people instead of dreaming of a fixed school, I think we should do something about it.

  11. speedy guy says:

    Well I feel it's not all a waste but I think it depends. But there are a lot of things in school that are a waste and a lot of people won't probably need those things they learned. However school it teaches u some basic things like reading and writing social skills etc. Bit there's a lot of things school doesn't teach u that u learn by ur self in the outside world.

  12. Donovan Cabat says:

    2:03 guy wasn’t very happy with his joke lol

  13. Seth Cocker says:

    Music is the one subject in my school that I actually enjoy. That one hour in the day I actually get to express myself, be creative and not have some old lady breathing down the back of my neck.

  14. Toto Btw says:

    they have to change the school system right now but they won't

  15. Tampa User says:

    The main thing I got from this talk is how brilliant the kid is. Lots of bragging, not much else.

  16. Ironninja1116’s old channel says:

    I looked at this for a split second and thought it said “how fortnite makes kids less intelligent” at first.

  17. Tochtli says:

    I’m watching this instead of doing homework…

  18. Will Xu says:

    From someone who does well in school and did amazing on the SAT. It's all useless. The SAT taught me how to take the SAT, not how to problem solve. Getting an A in multivariable calculus meant I forgot everything a couple months later. None of it makes us smarter, just how to play the system.

  19. Setch ed says:

    Y’all commenting are so uninterested in school that you completely ignore what they are teaching you and then you say it’s gives you anxiety and depression and that it’s so stressful. It’s as simple is if you don’t want to be there, you won’t succeed.

  20. !Newo says:

    This is so true. Was homeschooled up until highschool and I can tell you I have learned nothing at all, and my IQ has dropped.

  21. Rekkenze says:

    Where have these talks been all my life?!

  22. Rowan McShane says:

    Everyone's talking about the education system and stuff but I just wanna know wtf his product was and wat his company is not gonna lie

  23. HOLYGAMER PH says:

    This brilliant man knows how to speak on stage more than I did on school

  24. HOLYGAMER PH says:

    Not joking seriously

  25. HOLYGAMER PH says:

    I'm 14 and I go to highschool also

  26. HOLYGAMER PH says:

    I'm a fan of Dan loks video

  27. NathanTrolls says:

    So how did you learn math!!!!!!! lolol or algebra

  28. Craig says:

    After he said "I think I'm the only Asian kid who can't do math," that guy was not amused

  29. The Unchained predator of the night says:

    My mom has turned into a worshipper of schools and hates all form of entertainment in general.

  30. LoganKirkman says:

    I agree 100%

  31. BigBoi says:

    I’m gonna kill myself tomorrow school gives me too much stress. I’m depressed and have anxiety

  32. Ridz says:

    2:01 bruh

  33. Art Voltage says:

    This is best thing i have ever soon till today❤️:-)

  34. Roy Rodriguez says:

    My school gave me some bs about writing on someone's calculator

  35. Lucas Lopez says:

    dont see 4 yr olds wanting to be a businessman

  36. Coles Brown says:

    Sponsored by John Hancock Day School

  37. GameSeekr041 Contreras says:

    But school systems are still too stubborn to change their environments that make kids feel as though they need to constantly compete with their classmates

  38. Nubby Shadow says:

    I agree

  39. Nubby Shadow says:

    But if I drop out my parents aren’t gonna be that happy

  40. EricISuperememe says:

    When you check over your math test 5 times but still fail.

  41. Wenms Drawings says:

    Lol first i thougt it sayd bacon street

  42. Life of Phy,rap,run!!! says:

    This speech was excellent,but looking at the comments section,I feel that very few ppl actually understood what this man was trynna say,and I guess that's pretty much the reason that they ALLOW school to make them less intelligent.

  43. Serendipitious Trash says:

    I learned English fluently watching cartoon network than learning in school

  44. Memes is my middle name:P says:

    I could lose myself in something I love like science (especially earth sciences and physics) and story writing

  45. Arran Roberts says:

    Tbh the only people who hate on school are the people who aren’t good at school🤷‍♂️

  46. Egg Morp says:

    Imagine, thinking that high grades can get you good jobs

  47. Aviation Mohamed says:

    I learn by interest no one learns just by being forced what’s the point of like just to be smart in school?!

  48. Aviation Mohamed says:

    Your born
    You go to school
    You go to college or university just to graduate and get a job and that’s how life seems to be rather than enjoying the precious moments and doing something you’d love.

  49. Universal Music says:

    Quick story: The majority of my family have had their kids go into public schooling. I was in that majority. A couple of my younger cousins went and still go through home schooling. I remember asking one of them if they could keep up with the work that I have to do at my public school. Not only could they do all of my work with no ease, but they were already doing what was considered to be college level work. Mind you, they were barely teens at this time. It wasn't just school work they were good at though. See, I had troubles dealing with street smarts vs. book smarts, since I was obsessed with being "the smartest" at ny school. School taught me competition, not intelligence. My cousins were already becoming better down to Earth people then I could even achieve. I think that the school system needs a serious upgrade.

  50. Jamie Phan says:

    2:01–2:05 why just why what???

  51. Chair says:

    Your not the only asian kid who is not good at math. I got the belt once when I did bad at math.

  52. michael dileo says:

    Western education is about indoctrination, especially at the higher levels. Leftist politics is the true enemy of free thought.

  53. Gabriel Leon says:

    Dat "u lil punk" look at 2:03

  54. cyborman_754 says:


    You are not alone…

  55. Gogeta Blue says:

    I was told asian's had small ones
    After watching this I can confirm he has a massive

  56. I slayed k3 says:

    School does one thing for me: makes my parents fucken disown me

  57. Hobi is swaeg says:

    Elementary kids throwing their lunch money for prototypes 😂😂😂😂

  58. robolox7860 says:

    And than I get an education add

    Than a laptop add

  59. Bezz says:

    I learn more from watching YouTube videos then actually going to school.

  60. ITSLIZZ says:

    “Kids need atleast 8 hours of sleep”
    american high schoolers : laugh in 4 hours of sleep

  61. Andrew Byi says:

    I'm doing a homework about progressivism in America and I'm thinking how we need this type of change in our education system.

  62. Possibly Shreyanssh says:

    I have learnt no physics in school yet I am much better than every child combined school

  63. Sribas Nath says:

    He is right but you need to know that he is among thousand of teen who thought the same, but he only succeed among those thousands.
    Most children can't improve their skills their own, they need academic care ,because everyone isn't same

  64. Heemin Gamin' Station says:

    XD what was that guy at 2:05? I want that clip inserted in EVERY Ted talk.

  65. Samuel Hendrickson says:


  66. BlackBird RUF says:

    This comments section is a bunch of disgruntled teenagers who want to blame all their problems on school.

  67. TBest664 says:

    Just in case you could tell if this is a corner L you can use that Pythagoras theorem that school forced you to do, very useful

  68. M Br says:

    My teacher just plays a video and gives us a worksheet and gose to her desk and plays her phone

  69. Dean Saras says:

    you just want etention

  70. Dean Saras says:

    your just lucky

  71. Joeee231 Productions says:

    All the dislikes must be teachers

  72. Samuel Campbell says:

    Schools train ones ability to focus. To think. To observe. And to figure ones character out, by testing their skill sets, thinking ability and what your "dream", or to( I put commas because a dream is something some people see as…sort of not a reality)Find what you're good at. Although, I also agree with your imaginative intelligence. I'm 16. Am I smart?

  73. whitleyy says:

    2:05 when your mad and your friends try to make you laugh but you dont budge

  74. MAKnCHEEZ says:

    I'm still waiting for the day when my grocery list costs 2x – 4

  75. BAREL7 RBLX says:

    i was depressed and had so much stress on me when i was in school.

  76. Trailmix lol says:

    This dude is telling me that it was the right decision to drop out of college, and I love him for it

  77. Aaryan Ganesh says:

    Most of the thing we learn from school does not even affect our life

  78. António André says:

    it does(turn you smarter) by wasting their time in an effecient way of learning.

  79. Ailius says:

    2:00 that face he made when he said that

  80. Kar says:

    The school system should change

  81. Elias Sleiman says:

    Show this to my teacher, please!

  82. Abdelsalam soliman says:

    The 2000 dislikes were teachers

  83. Michael Brown says:

    People think: More work = better grades
    meanwhile in Finland where homework is non-existant: Less work = Better grades

    and im just weirded out by it

  84. x terate says:

    If my business studies group project went that well I would have died and went to heaven

  85. PhaneSarkes says:

    All I knew was to find the angle of a given triangle ABD if you’re given side A and side B and angle C, to find angle C, you do (1/2)AB sinC

  86. Peer Shaheen says:

    YEAH, IT'S A CHALLENGE. If you succeed comment the link to your video on any of my videos. I AM DEFINITELY LOOKING FORWARD TO IT. LETS START A POSITIVE TREND.

  87. I have around 10 subs lol says:

    OK but can we talk about the guy's reaction at 2:01?

  88. I have around 10 subs lol says:

    "Over 5-6 years, we have created these teenagers who can't think outside the box."

  89. ELManuelitode PR says:

    School is just a game of geting Good grades they dont teach you about how prevent suicide the youst give you thoughts about that

  90. Luke Carlin says:

    It's this one of the pricks that tell me to dropship

  91. invisible 1 says:

    it's such a shame they don't teach the real things in school these days. they need life skills. they need to learn how to cook, sew, how to buy a house how to deal with emergency. .. kids cone out of school and know nothing

  92. Juuce says:

    Kid is woke asf

  93. Dummy Dummy says:

    "No one has ever changed the world by doing what the world says"

  94. stag beetle says:

    I have learnt more about biology by cultivating my passion for it than attempting to study it from a boring book. If I weren't forced to regurgitate what's written on my book word by word, I'd easily explain in my own words

  95. San Goku says:

    kinda true. joseph joestar didnt go to school and he got home schooled but he was really smart lol

  96. August Happel says:

    I 100% agree with this. I'm homeschooled, but recently I've been dual enrolling for Highschool and I've gotten a taste of what school does. The way I see it, there are three levels of intelligence: Wisdom, creative intelligence, and factual intelligence. Wisdom is what you have to know to navigate life, to know how you want to live, what is most important etc, creative intelligence is what Mr Zhong was talking about and lastly factual intelligence is what kids learn in school. They learn a bunch of facts that won't help them, while simultaneously taking away whatever creative intelligence they have. And schools sure as heck don't teach wisdom. And from what I can see, Schools don't even teach those facts very well, because the kids know it's useless, and don't care about learning by the time they graduate!

  97. Gibzei says:

    I have an idea but I find it hard to execute. Any advice.

  98. BASICALLY says:

    Eddy: at 5 kids want to businessmen
    Me at 5: wanting to fly and drop bombs on deserts

  99. Sebastien Merviel says:

    Mob mentality in children isnt fought and has only taught me conformity, no idea how to get rid of that

  100. Rodrigo says:

    School is far from being all that bad, people just do not know how to deal with it, if we all knew we should pursue things outside, even knowledge, of school we would do so much better in life, also, we need to know how to live and that's not taught in school, if we had access to that information and used school only for academic growth, we'd easily find schools a lot better and less depressing, but no one tells us that and schools themselves ignore it and never teaches us to deal with outside of academia problems and struggles

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