Does school really make kids less intelligent?

link to the ted talk: 

This is about a TED talk “How schools make kids less intelligent?” From the title, we can assume that the main content of the talk would be something against the traditional way of teaching and learning. Exactly, it is given by an Asian-American boy, Eddy Zhong, who claims that a child is becoming less creative and less intelligent as he or she spends more time at school since school curbs children’s passion for things other than academic achievements. He argues that if he continues studying hard in order to attain his parent’s expectation of good academic performance, he would never have opportunities to compete in various business creative plan competitions and never achieve the current success he has (as he owns his own technology company). Zhong intends to call all students, parents, teachers and educators to realize that academic excellence is not the only path for a child to achieve life success, and the most important thing is to follow inner passion and believe in it.

Zhong pinpoints his claim with the arguments from his personal experience; he and his team from one business competition went to different schools to collect students who are interested in their business prototype. He found that elementary school students showed greater interest in the business project compared with those in high schools, who just made fun of it and told them that it was unrealistic and unachievable. This experience led Zhong to make the conclusion that children become less creative and less intelligent as they attend school for more years. Zhong believes that it is the school that kills the imagination, creativity and self-confidence of a child.

However, I would like to posit the view that the school should not take all of the blame for this since school opens the door for children to learn and explore this credible world. Although some famous entrepreneurs who did quit school or university, starting their own business and made a change to the world, most of them have learned and mastered the basic knowledge and self-learning abilities at schools. Moreover, younger children are more curious and more energetic than students at high school, those who have higher academic requirements and more pressure; people become more realistic and less curious as they grow up and start to shoulder more responsibilities. Thus the argument provided by Zhong is not strong enough to deny the benefits of the school; it is barely one personal experience and is partially subjective opinion which may reflect unpleasant memories or biased views of the speaker about the school.

I strongly believe that there are many other ways apart from academic excellence, leading to the success of life. It is the diversity which makes the world to be complete and balanced; some students may enjoy studying at school and others are interested in other extracurricular activities. The judgment should not merely based on the academic assessment, rather take account into other performances; and it is important to teach every child to follow their inner passion and be adamant about the choice made by themselves. This kind of choice may not lead to so-called “success” of life but it can empower individual with nature ability to live a peaceful and happy life.

4 thoughts on “Does school really make kids less intelligent?

  1. I am partially agree with you, however the idea of Eddy Zhong is more attractive for me. First of all, let’s clarify the fact that students learn the world from other people and not by themselves. It means that we percieve facts that were discovered by teachers, educators, scientists etc. But what about individual worldviews that should be naturally created and increased in students’ brains without interference of others’ perceptions? Sometimes it aggravates the individualization and differentiation in education that stipulates the decrease of curiosity. May be we should rethink the educational system and change the way of perceiving knowledge and one day we will discover the geniuses.


    1. Dear Assema,
      Thanks very much for your thought-provoking questions!
      I would like to recommend some perspectives about education of Krishnamurti, who was an Indian Philosopher. He claims that every person has his or her wisdom, however, we as adults always limit them by obeying so called “rules”, rather than awaken their own wisdom.
      This requires the very sincere attention as well as love from us; the essence of education is the efforts to know children as who they really are, not place “what they should be” on them by ourselves.
      However, in order to achieve this, we need to know who we really are and reflect on the “should or must” things we have been taughts to obey, uncovering our own wisdom.
      It is nice to discuss the topic of education which i am fancy about!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great work, Sharapat. (4.5/5) This is a well-developed and clearly organized post. You have a confident tone and present your ideas in a logical way. A few suggestions:
    1) Start with a more meaningful opening line.
    2) Make the link an actual link, or embed the video so your readers can watch a bit of the clip directly from your post.
    3) Revise these sentences:
    a) Although some famous entrepreneurs _____ did quit school or university (dep. vs. ind. clause), ______ their own business and ______ a change to the world (unparallel verbs), most of them have learned and mastered the basic knowledge and self-learning abilities at schools.
    b) The judgment should not merely based on ____ academic assessment (article), rather take ______ _______ (word order)other performances; and it is important to teach every child to follow their inner passion and be adamant about the choices _______ _______ (active voice).


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