Good morning, boys and girls. That was terrible. You've learned how to do that from a young age. You're supposed to say, "Good morning, Mr. Godin." So let's try again. Good morning, boys and girls. Good morning, Mr. Godin.
Have you thought about what that's for? Have you thought about how, for a hundred or hundred and fifty years, that was ingrained into the process of public education? Have you thought at all, as people on the cutting edge, as people who are interested in making school work again, about a very 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 gonna make anything happen until we can all agree about how we got here and where we're going.
My goal today is to put that question into your head and help you think about it. First, we have to understand what school used to be for. There's a woman named Mary Everest Boole, and she came up with this notion (she was a mathematician in the late 1800s) that you could use string and nails and wood and make decorations (those things with the string goes back and forth) and there's math built into that, and that a teacher on the cutting edge, of 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 the memo went home to all the parents at my kid's 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. And I'm not gonna do it for you because it's really hard to listen to.
我今天的目標是要將這問題裝進你們的腦袋，並幫助你們思考這問題。首先我們必須了解學校在過去是做什麼用的。有名叫做Mary Everest Boole的女人，她提出這樣的概念(她是十九世紀晚期的一名數學家)這個概念是，你可以用細繩、釘子和木頭做出裝飾品(那些有細繩來回穿梭的東西)而且有數學概念植入其中，還有一位走在尖端的老師，教五年級的，也許決定要使用除九法、餘數以及來回穿梭的細繩來教導有關數學很重要的一門課。因此有份通知單被帶回家裡，給我的小孩就讀的公立學校中每位家長，上面寫著：「我們需要幫忙。我們需要鎚子。」我算是無業人士。我在那天帶了一袋鎚子出現在學校，一大袋、有十八支鎚子。現在，我不知道你們有沒有聽過十八個小孩用十八支鎚子在一間小房間裡釘了二十分鐘的釘子，反正我是聽過了。我沒有要做給你們看，因為那真的很難聽。
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. And 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 was about teaching obedience. "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 have brought your own number two pencil for the quiz that is gonna be part of today. The number two pencil is famous because Frederick J. Kelly made it famous. Back around World War I, we had a problem, which was this huge influx of students because we'd expanded the school date to 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 he called it out, because he said the standardized test is too 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.
現在我需要把話題轉到Frederick J. Kelly上。你們有些人為了會是今天一部分的隨堂測驗帶了你們自己的HB鉛筆。HB鉛筆很有名是因為Frederick J. Kelly讓它出名的。回到大約第一次世界大戰時，我們有個問題，那就是因為我們已擴展了學校教育階段去將高中列入其中，大量學生的湧入，而也有要替他們全部分級的極大需求。所以他發明了標準化測驗，一個討厭的東西。他在十年之後緊急情況結束時放棄了這項測驗，但因為他放棄了它，因為他挑戰了它，因為他說標準化測驗太過粗陋不該拿來用，所以他被趕出去，且丟了大學校長的工作，因為他竟敢大聲對抗一個運行中的體制。
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 a little higher. Hmm. What's that about? 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, then your parent or your teacher or your coach or your boss is gonna ask for a 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 allows 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 1920. But the thing about productivity and industrialism is this: the people who ran factories had two huge problems. Problem number one: they looked around and they 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 could get more workers, we could pay them less. And if we could pay them less, we'd make more money. We need more workers." And so, the KKK 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 train 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 the factory. We build a system, all about interchangeable people, because factories are based on interchangeable parts. If this piece is no good, put another piece in there. And org charts, those little boxes are all designed to say, "Oh, we can fit Bob in there because Rachel didn't show up to work today." And so we built school. That's what school was for.
And the second thing industrialists were really worried about was that we weren't gonna buy all the stuff they could make, that in 1880, 1890, people owned two pairs of shoes, one pair of jeans. That was it. Like you don't know anyone who owns one pair of jeans anymore, ever. What they needed to train us to do was buy stuff. 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 then, he needed more teachers, right? Because you have more schools so he built a school for teachers. Do 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, and he wanted the class to be normal, and he wanted people to fit in.
And then we came up with this: the textbook. Now if you wanna teach somebody how to become passionate about, I don't know, American history, why would you give them this? Do people walk into Barnes & Noble and say, "I'm really interested in that latest gripping thing that's gonna 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: 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, "Ok, there's a test tomorrow. I want you to memorize the top fifty batters in order by batting average," and then rank the people based on how they do on the test so the ones who do well get to memorize more baseball players? Is that how we would create baseball fans?
然後我們有了這玩意：教科書。如果你想要教某個人要如何，我不知道，變得對於美國歷史非常熱衷，你為什麼要給他們這玩意？人們會走進Barnes & Noble(美國連鎖書店)然後問：「我對那個讓我能完全投入於南北戰爭的最新、最吸引人的東西感到非常有興趣。你們庫存有本那種教科書嗎？」如果你想要教某人如何成為棒球迷，你一開始會要他們了解棒球史：誰是Abner Doubleday (據說為棒球發明者)、巡迴賽是什麼，以及板球、資本主義和黑人聯盟的影響嗎？你會這樣做嗎？你會說：「Ok, 明天有個考試。我要你們以打擊率順序記下前五十名最頂尖的打者。」然後以他們考試的表現為基準來替人們排名，所以那些表現好的就會記下更多棒球員嗎？這是我們如何培養棒球迷的方法嗎？
Here's the key distinction. What people do quite naturally is, if it's work, they try to figure out how to do less. 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?" Right? Someone 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 have done as a...an application is that when I meet people, I take this out. There's a great bargain online. And it's filled with these blocks, right? You've probably seen blocks before. I'm gonna dump them out of it. And I say, "Take four blocks and make them into something interesting." Now it's an interesting question, because you can use the letters; you can use the shapes; you can spell the word; you can put a profanity there; you can spell a word that means nothing; you can make the shape into a bridge. And people hate this, because there's no right answer and there's a million wrong answers. They hate this because there's no Dummies Guide to How To Make Something Interesting Out Of Blocks when you're thirty years old. And now, we're at a crossroads. We're at a crossroads because as a culture we say the only thing we care about, the only place we're willing to cross the street to go, the only thing we're willing to buy, the only person we're willing to vote for, the only stuff we're willing to talk about is interesting, is art, is new, will touch us and 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 to teach us how to sharpen an ax, because the Internet connects us all.
And so I wanna share with you eight things that I think are gonna change completely if we decide how we wanna answer this question or maybe even if we don't. One, as Sal Khan has pointed out: homework during the day, lectures at night. World-class lecturers lecture on anything you wanna learn to every single person in the world who's got an Internet connection for free. And then all day go and sit with a human being, a teacher, and ask your questions and do your work, and explore face-to-face. It's stupid to have the same lecture being given handmade ten thousand times a day across the country when we can get one person to do it great for the people who want to hear it.
Number two, open book, open note all the time. There is zero value in memorizing anything ever again. Anything that is worth memorizing is worth looking up. So we shouldn't spend any time teaching people to memorize stuff.
Number three, access to any course anywhere in the world anytime you wanna take it. So this notion that we have to do things in a certain order, which is based on physical location and chronology, makes no sense.
Number four, precise focused education instead of mass batch stuff. That's the way we make almost everything we buy now, right? It used to be you could have any color of car you wanted as long as it's black, so we could keep the assembly line going. But now they make ten thousand kinds of cars because they can. So we should make ten thousand kinds of education. No more multiple-choice exams. Those were invented to make them easy to score but computers are smarter than that: Measuring experience instead of test scores because experience is what we really care about. The end of compliance as an outcome: The resume is a...is proof that you have complied for years and years and years with famous brand names, and it gets you your next job. It's worthless now. And cooperation instead of isolation: Why do we do anything where we ask people to do it all by themselves, and then we put them in the real world and say, "Cooperate."
Four more. Teacher's role transforms into coach: lifelong learning with work happening earlier in your life, and really important the death of the famous college. Not good college. We don't know what a good college is, but we know what a famous college is because someone ranked them as famous or because they have a football team that's famous. Why on earth are we paying extra, why on earth are we working harder to comply and be obedient? Just so we get a famous brand name that has no relevance to success or happiness put after our name.
I wanna show you one more device I have over here as I started. This is called an Arduino. And it's a little bit like a Raspberry Pi. They're both electronic devices that cost twenty to thirty dollars each. Raspberry Pi, which you can buy for twenty-five dollars, has on it the complete Linux operating system, a USB port, audio out, and a monitor. So if we take that cable and that keyboard and that monitor we already have in front of almost every kid in this country and hand them one of these. We can then say to them, "Go build something interesting. And ask if you need help." Why wouldn't we want to teach our kids to go do something interesting? Why wouldn't we wanna teach our kids to figure it out? And yet, every day we send kids to school and say, "Do not figure it out. Do not ask questions I do not know the answer, too. Do not look it up. Do not vary from the curriculum. And better, better, better, better, better comply, fit in. Be like your peers. Do what you're told, because I must process you; because everything in my evaluation is based on whether or not I process you properly."
我要給你們再看看一個我開始時在這裡就有的設備。這叫做Arduino。它有一點點像Raspberry Pi (Linux系統的迷你電腦)。它們都是每個價值二十到三十美金的電子設備。Raspberry Pi，你可以花二十五美金(約七百五十台幣)買到，在它上面有完整的Linux作業系統、USB插孔、音源輸出孔和一個螢幕。所以如果我們把那條電線、那個鍵盤和我們已經有的顯示器，放在這個國家幾乎所有的小孩面前，並遞給他們一個這個。然後我們可以對他們說：「去做些有趣的東西吧。如果需要幫助就開口問。」為什麼我們不想要教導我們的孩子去做些有趣的東西？為什麼我們不想教導孩子去理解？然而，每天我們都送孩子到學校並說：「不要理解。也不要問我不知道答案的問題。不要去查詢。不要偏離課表。最好、最好、最好、最好、最好要順從、融入。像你的同儕一樣。去做你被吩咐的事，因為我必須要對你加工，因為我做的評量中的一切都是基於是否我有確實地加工你。
So there are two myths I wanna close with. The first one and we gotta be really honest with ourselves about this: Myth one, great performance in school leads to happiness and success. If that's not true, we should stop telling ourselves it is. And two, great parents have kids who produce great performance in school. If that's not true, we should stop telling ourselves it is. Are we asking our kids to collect dots or connect dots? Because we're really good at measuring how many dots they collect, how many facts they have memorized, how many boxes they have filled in, but we teach nothing about how to connect those dots. You cannot teach connecting dots in a Dummies manual. You cannot teach connecting dots in a textbook. You could only do it by putting kids into a situation where they can fail. Grades are an illusion. Passion and insight are reality. Your work is more important than your congruence to an answer key. Persistence in the face of a skeptical authority figure is priceless, and yet we undermine it. Fitting in is a short-term strategy that gets you nowhere; standing out is a long-term strategy that takes guts and produces results. If you care enough about your work to be willing to be criticized for it, then you have done a good day's work.
So what now? What now? What should we do? Because we've been talking about it a whole lot. Only one thing: Ask the question, "What is school for?" When they say this is our new textbook, the question is, "Is that gonna help us with getting what school is for?" When they say this is the new superintendent, we need to say, "Yes, but is this superintendent going to help us do what we think school is for?" And if you don't know what school is for, then have a conversation about it, because until we can agree what school is for, we're not gonna get what we need.
Thank you for the work you do. I appreciate it.
註二：Open book, Open note是我們說的「開書考」，顧名思義，就是開著課本、筆記考試，在美國是一種較為普遍的考試方式，不強迫學生背誦記憶。
註三：引用亨利福特說過的名言："You can Have Any Color as Long as It's Black."意思是說，他的福特車只有黑色的