討論逐字稿 Bring on the Education Revolution

We talked about Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk, Bring on the Revolution

Okay, who wants to retell the story of Gillian Lynne?
Okay, she is a creator to create a dance or play. When she was at school, she was so fidgity that her schoolteacher treated her as a problem at the school, and when her mother took her took her to a doctor, that doctor was able to find out the special ability Gillian Lynne possessed. So he suggested to her mother to take her to the dance class. That's how the legend started. And then later on she became a famous dancer and had her own company. She ended up becoming a billionaire. Maybe you can say she lived out her dream.
She lived out her dream and got rich, that's not bad. But she wouldn't have had any of that if someone had medicated her with Ritalin and put her back in school
I think that happens to a lot of people.

Does anyone here feel like they were forced to waste time in school?
I feel like I didn't learn anything from school.
I was actually thinking about that the other day, I know a lot of stuff about science that I wouldn't have known if I didn't go to school but I still feel like I wasted a lot of time there.
Do you enjoy what you do?
There's no quick answer. Enjoy or not enjoy, there's only two answers. I enjoy some of the work, but you know, you need to take the good part with the bad part.
I get that, I think that 80% of any job is shit you don't want to bother with, but it has to be done to get to the 20% that's the really cool.
Maybe if you really like a job, it could get to 40%, but there still a lot of shit you don't like.
How about when you worked on the magazine?
Yeah, that was 60% enjoy.
So you really liked that job then.
Why did you change jobs?
To meet my parents' expectation.
They wanted you to be a teacher.
Yup.
Becaue they are also teachers?
My mom was a teacher, yep.

How many people do you know really truly enjoy their jobs?
They are like a needle in a haystack.
But why should that be so?
Because we were taught that way. "There's no job that you will enjoy, job is job."
And parents say, you will gradually like your job.
Just like they say when you marry someone, if you don't like him or her, gradually you will have emotion for him or her.
Horrible!
Thats what my parents said to me.
Well, that's the human thing, if you are stuck in a situation, you will find a way to deal with it. But is that a good way to be?
There's a sentence I read in a book, it said, the best way to get out of hell is to be part of it.
Yeah, that's good advice. Not.
Do you agree?
How do you be a part of hell?
For example, some people may consider Taipei city is a hell.
Really?
But you can still find something interesting to enjoy if you try hard.
So we are in hell?
How many people here feel that they're in hell?
Hey, I like Taipei.
It's a metaphor.
Basically that's saying, if you can't beat them, join them.
So what's your job, that you feel so terrible, right? What's wrong?
But he said, some people say, he didn't say that he thinks that.
Oh, okay.

What do you feel is just so important to you? You can't live without it. Or you must talk to people about it. Or you must do it, to feel like your life is even worth going through. This is a hard question, so take a moment to think about it.
Travelling. I love travelling.
I love Paris. I mean, Maggie loves Paris.
So you said that for me?
Yeah
Thank you.
Food is also your passion!
Yes, I love, food, delicious food. And I'm good at looking for delicious food.
If you want to know a restaurant in taipei city, just ask Maggie.
So, passion, anyone else?
Does it have to be somthing substantial, or?
No. Wait, what do you mean?
Does it have to be some real thing? Travelling is a real thing? I don't know.
I think it could be a kind of feeling.
Yeah.
Being in hell?
Yeah!
I think i'm passionate about figuring myself out.
Mmm! (x3!)
That's a good passion
Yeah!
Does that belong to intrapersonal intelligence?
Yeah, figuring yourself out is intrapersonal intelligence.
Intra = within (inside one person)
Inter = between (between two people)
So anyone else? Passion?
I like to communicate with people, and I like to feel this: 'yes!'. Maybe to resolve some difficult part, or issue, or resolve a problem.
I want you on my team!
And if you don't resolve the problem?
I will still enjoy the feeling of being concentrated and try very hard to resolve it, figure it out.
I like this too, like working on something, yeah.
It makes me feel very confident.
Okay, so, one of you guys.
I've lost my passion for a period of time, I only know what I dislike.
What did you used to be passionate about?
Receiving high scores at school.
Why did you lose this passion?
After school?
Maybe I came into some obstacles, and I start to doubt what's that all about.
That sounds like the violin story to me. Issac Perlman is a famous violinist, and one day a man came up to him, and said, should I pursue playing the violin as a career. Perlman said no. The man was crushed, but he realized that actually Perlman was right, and went off and made a successful career as a businessman. Many years later he ran into Perlman again and asked him, "Do you remember how you told me I shouldn't pursue the violin? I just wanted to say thank you, because you really helped me, and now I really like my life." Issac Perlman said to him, "Honestly, I don't remember you, because I say that to anyone who asks me. If you have to ask, then you shouldn't be playing violin. Because if you really wanted to do it, you wouldn't have to ask, you would just do it."

Does anyone have something like that, they invested so much in something, and then decided to put it aside?
That made me think about, a kind of relationship. Sometimes we will hear a similar stories form my girlfirends. Maybe they will try to approach a guy or something. The guy probably not so suitable for them. So they will maybe make a lot of effort to try to get the guy, but they cannot approach him. But they will not give up, becaue they've put so much effort into it.
We call that 'throwing good money after bad'.
I have a story about somebody else. There's this father, that is really strict with his two children, and he has a son and a daughter, and they both, right now they're 30 to 40 years old right now, and when they were choosing the major in college, the son really really wanted to study computers, and the daughter really wanted to study english. But the father is very authoritative, and he decided the daughter should study law, and the son should study...
Medicine?
...I forgot, anyway, maybe business or somthing. Anyways, like 10 years after they finish college and they already establish their career in that field, and they are having a succesful job in that field, which is not what they really chose to do. Then the father was like, well, maybe you could do that path you wanted at that time. And the son was angry, he was like, I invested so much time and energy in that field, and now you're telling me this?
Why did the father change his mind, it's very weird, they're already 40 years old, what made him change his mind?
They're in their 30s
Okay.
Well, I guess his heart became softer, I guess beause the father went through some health problems.
And there was an enlightenment.
What a waste of time! Is what i'm thinking.
Well, a very famous author, Hou Wenyong, is a good example, he finished his studies, and worked as a doctor and then he quit, and started working on his writing, and now he's a famous and productive author in Taiwan. He has a lot of courage to quit as a doctor.
Yeah, it f----g takes courage.
Not really, he also came into some obstacles in his career, like promotion
It was like someone telling him no and he was like yeah, forget this.
And he also got some acheivement in other areas.
What other areas?
His books are best-sellers, and he also worked as a producer.

The myth of linearity.
So, write down for me five things you're good at.
Five?!?
Listen, everyone is good at more than just one thing. They don't have to be earth-shattering things, just whatever you're good at.

Organizing things
Painting
Asking questions
Making soup and cooking greens
Picking the perfect color for house interiors.

I'm good at making soup.
I'm good at listening.
I'm good at being zen.

Lot of my friends ask me for translating chinese and english
I think i'm good at, when i'm travelling, finding my way, asking around
And also, listening to people
And the first one was organizing things.

I'm good at finding food, just like you said,
And i'm good at keeping the status of things.
Can you elaborate? I have no idea what that means.
Just like if, my sister and I both bought a kind of...
Shoes or something.
...but mine is aways in better condition
So you know how to take care of things.
Yeah, I agree.
And you are still a good shopper. You can always find good things to buy.
Is that an advantage?
Yes! That's called 'taste'
I'm good at eating. Thank you.
Yeah, you literally have 'taste'.

I'm good at chatting with people, even with strange taxi drivers.
And, i'm also good at treating myself very well.
That's important!
Eat well, sleep well.
So you know how to be happy, then.
Yep.
And i'm good at spending money.

I'm good at learning, teaching, staying calm, helping other people calm down, and i'm also good at having conversation with strangers, if I have to.
This criteria is so interesting.
So did you decide that you have to have the conversation with us first?
Yeah, it's interesting.
Since I tend to keep myself to myself, but I can have a conversation with someone for over an hour, meeting them for the first time on the road.
That's like Da Shan.

What are tht things you're supposed to be good at school?
To be obedient.
Memorizing things
Literacy and numeracy
Talking
Earning a good grade.
But what are the skills required for that (getting a good grade)?
Test-taking skills.
Following the rules
Make the people love you. It's so strange!
Can you elaborate?
Make teachers, or classmates?
Teachers! In my memory the teacher always love the student who always can get the high scores, or maybe, willing to follow their instructions, they always like 好學生.
So everyone is trying to make the teacher...
No, not everyone, but sometimes I think that the group of好學生, they have 討好性格.
They try to suck up to their teachers.
Kiss their teachers ass.

How many of these skills are important in a job? In jobs you have had?
Being obedient.
All of them.
Really all of them?
I just said, none of them.
I think kissing ass is an important life skill.
In some situations.
I hate doing that.
Well who likes it?
Talking, becaue you have to communicate about what you're doing
But talking isn't valued in school.
What do you mean?
You're supposed to be quiet.
Well, in chinese culture, but in the west?
No, we're still supposed to shut up.

The skills you learned in school, did you find that they served you in the workforce, or did you find that you had to develop a new skillset when you started working?
Actully, I think I learned the skills that I needed to have at work from work, not from school. Like when I was at EMBA magazine, I learned how to write from my boss.
So, what is the point of school?
Right! What's the point?
But, I feel it's still valuable to learn a lot of things there.
But without school can't we learn those skills.
Such as basic knowlege, it takes a long time to accumulate.
I know, but if we don't go to school, does it mean that we cannot accumulate that basic knowledge?
But it's sufficieint, when we are students for ten or twenty years.
I don't remember any of this knowledge.
Because it's been internalized, it's part of you.
You know, it's very interesting to wtch kids learning. My sister's kid, right now, she's in the second grade, but when she was in the first grade, she already could read books with out 據音符號.
Wow.
And you don't know how she learned to recognize chinese characters, but actually she already accumulated a lot of chinese characters without going to school. So we don't need teachers to teach her.
But it should be more slow right?
No, but all my sister did was just read stories to her. And one day my sister found out that the books my sister bought for her were without據音符號, but she likes reading those books.
I think this is, the book was kind of individual teaching to her, versus, school is the same teaching for everyone. So everyone has to have the same level at the same time.
And I think, reading story is a kind of stimulation, but learning and grow up, I think, if there was a lot of kinds of different stimulation, that will make the kids grow up more...
I agree with you...
More thoroughly. Kids can make friends at school
And friends are definitely a way of learning things.
I hated everyone at the same level, because I learn things quick, so I was always just waiting for everyone to catch up. I hated that.
The new techonlogy is that everyone has their own teacher.

I want to ask a hard question. I know, I always ask hard questions, but this one is harder: Do you know how you learn best?
My hearing is better than reading. If someone explains something and discusses with me, I can learn more efficient. But if I read by myself, then I will forget it.
I learn very quickly when I have passion for it. But if i'm not so interested, in that, if I have no passion for that subject, i'm not good at that subject.
Yeah, i'm like, yeah something like that yeah whatever.
You are just getting tired of that information/knowledge easily, if you are not interested in it.
I think I need both visual and hearing things. Like, when I learn english, I need to listen, and also to read.
And maybe write down at the same time.
I learn best when the teacher knows what he or she is talking about.
Oh, yeah, that really matters!
Agree.
And when they organize things correctly, in an efficient way.
It matters, if they don't know what they're talking about that well, you're not going to understand it.
Yeah, I like listening to experts that are obsessed about what they do, becaue every detail is there, and you can just choose what you want to know out of it.

I want to ask, did school help you with learning, or did it get in your way, and what might you have changed about school, to make it help you?
I think, learning at school, is not the kind of individual learning, it's learning with other kids, so we explore in all kinds of stimulations. I learned a lot of things, and learned more about myself, and other people. It made me easy to find my interest or find something i'm special at, diffrent from other people, I think it helped me with that.
I think it's not about individual learning, so you won't get all the focus. You have to learn something from it, and it's not made for me, the learning schedules and daily life, it's not for my person. It's still a kind of lerning, to share with others.
Can you explain what you mean aobu tthe learning schedules?
Bcause in my family, i'm the only child, my parents do all the things for me, I don't need to share things with others, the clothes, the shoes, but at school I have to share, the learning schedule of the teacher, I have to share with the classmates, I have to learn to respect others.

I think group learning is more suitable for me, because if I go, I think, actually, working or learning some knowledge with your clasmates is also a kind of learning, it's just like a life skill for your future life, I think. So, I think school education is necessary for me, but not suitable for everyone, I think.

I think the textbooks didn't help me at understanding a subject. It was just words, in books.
They told the story really badly, I felt. Especially the history books, I was all, but, huh,...why?
And when I was in high school in the first year, I had to choose the science group or the social group.
Do you mean from junior high?
高一.
Senior high school? The first grade of senior high?
Yes. At that time I had no idea what I liked, and it was such a big decision for me.
I wouldn't have had any idea then.
And the only reason I chose, actually I ddin't like any of the subjects, but the only reason I chose the science group was because the social group, the people in the social group were considered the lesser minds.
Which is bullshit. But this is true in the US too, social science is not considered a real field.
My sister and I studied diferent topics in the scientifc field, and one time I saw her studying quantum phsycis, and I asked her what's that, and she said, even if I explain it, you'll never know it.
That's bullshit, it means she can't explain.
So she ignore me, and doesn't explain it for me.

Is dance as important as mathematics?
Yes, in different situation. When you are clubbing, dance is more important than math, definitely.
What does clubbing mean?
It' means to go to dance clubs and dance.
I have no rhythm.
That doesn't matter they turn the music up so loud, you don't have a choice
All you have to do is jump jump jump.
But dance is not valued as much as an important subject in Taiwan. There's no subject called 'dance'
But it's an important social skill!
There's no social skill class.
That's a problem, you have to learn by yourself.
Actually, math, you only need to add and subtract and multiply and divide.
Actually, in the modern world, you need statistics. This has been coming up on internet discussions latetely. If you know statistics, governments and corporations can't pull the wool over your eyes, you can deconstruct arguments.
Logic. We're not taught logic.
Logic is so important for everything!
Can you elaborate?
Even communication needs logic. If you describe a thing without logic, it's just like a flying cloud. And others can't catch up your ideas or what you want to describe, so I think it's so important.

Okay, for our closing statements you can answer one of these questions, or you can say whatever you like, you only have to, as usual, talk for two minutes.
What should schools train people for?
What is educating poeple for?
What do we need an educaction system for?
What's the point of an education system?


Maybe about all these questions, we should ask ourselves, first, whether we need an educaiton system. Maybe all we need is a system to help us share and organize knowledge, such as wiki, or for example, most peole learn what they need in their life...
Including cooking, or like makeup, from bloggers!
Yeah, bloggers are a great source.
...So, since I have met a bunch of not so good teachers at schools, I have an idea to let the best teacher to teach by the internet, then all we need is a teacher, is the best teacher, instead of a whole education system involving a bunch of mediocre teachers. So, thats' why I quit tutoring.
Because you're a mediocre teacher?
Yeah, I don't think of myself as the best one. I'm more like, help students tackle their exam, instead of learning.
Well, but that's useful in our current system...

First of all, sorry for being late, and, I think during the long long period for growing up, I think education still plays a very important role to provide most of the kids some basic knowledge, and give them the chance to touch a lot of different fields, and make friends, and know about themselves more. And I think things, the education system is not so perfect now, it maybe can not satisfy all the kids needs, because everyone needs a different education but I still appreciate that it provide a lot of stimulations or hint to myself.
Even in prison, you can make friends and get a lot of stimulation
[laughter]
Theres also a saying, the more schools we have, the less prisons we need.
Becaue schools are like prisons?
Becaue we have to be in school all day!
Yeah, if you see a kid during the day, you're like, oh, they're out of prison...
And they have like a uniform we know which school have to go do.
And if they don't go they're also punished.

I think our school system should not only focus on knowledge based learning, because right now, if you just get on the internet, you can just learn anything that you want to learn. I think our educsation system should teach us, not teach us, but help us figure out who we are and who we are, and what we are good at. And I think our school system should help us equip with the ability to continue learning after school, and I think, the most important thing is, to help us accept what we really are, instead of try to change ourselves to be someone else. Because our seducation system now is still focussing on what we don't have, and try to teach us to pursue what we don't have, but I don't think that's right.
What does that mean?
Like, if you got 95% right or correct answers, you should pursue the 5% that you answer wrong.
What do you think we should do, we should try to develop what we already have?
I think, um, I think we should let kids know, we don't need to pursue 100% right, becaue right now we're still focussing on getting 100%% right answers. That's what i'm trying to say.
I think it's the grading system. It shouldn't be 100.
It should be 1000?
I think different kids need different grading system
But then there's no standard!
We don't need standards.
But how do I know if I should hire this person?
If you want to create competition, then you need standards
Maybe then the result should be different types, like shinli ts huen. I'm a red person and, you're a blue person, if you're a nurse, you might be a blue person.
I'm a Taurus and you're a Capricorn.
But then color will become a kind of grade. Who is the most blue? Or everyone has their own color?
I don't know, I just made this up now!

Recently i'm reading this book about how the taiwan educaion system is fucked up.
What's the name?
Education: It should be different.
What's the thesis?
Well i'm only on the first chapter, but so far it's talking about the taiwan education system, there's only one ruler to measure every person. And there's only one way, its based on test-taking skills. And that can be practiced by cram schools. And then students that are unsuitable for this kind of system, they just drop out of school, they ose their self esteem in their life, becaue the whole society tells them that they are a loser becaue they can't do well in school. And also, it talks about, nowadays, all the young people want to get into the civil service, becaue it's guaranteed
Civil servant= person
Civil service = gvt jobs
And the way to get into the civil service, it's about test taking. It doesn't measure your love for your country, or your courage, or whatver. But their job is to make a better future for our country. But the people are takint the job becaue it's safe
And so our gvt is full of people who just want to be safe.
And so our country is not changing, because these people just want to be safe.
Thats the same problem that happen to teachers. Teachers don't like to change, they just want to be safe. And...
Because it's also an iron rice bowl
Well actualy it's a very big problem now, becaue our society has changed so much, but the teacher's mindset is like that, they're so afraid of change.
So our whole country is like that
I think our recruitment has some problems. You can't recruit the right people by just testing.
And it shouldn't be guaranteed.
Right, you should set up some sytem for it to rotate. You can't just got ot some school and work for 25 years and then retire, you should force teachers to chnge schools, and see different school cultures, but there's not such rule or such sytem.
So, my conclusion is, I think schools should help students find their talent, and find how they can contribute to this soceity and the world, instead of just training robots who know how to make a good grade.

Actually, I think, school is necessary in some kinds of, it is necessary in some setting, because, we have never found a new system or a new way to educate students or people, and at least it is an efficient way to deliver the necessary knowledge, actually it still have some disadvantage, and system disorder or something, but in my own opinion, it has some thing good, at educational meaning. My mother is a teacher, and I think she always thinks she works happily. She always thinks I should be a teacher too, she thinks it is stable. But I think I have a bad temper and I don't want to get mad with my students, and I think i'm not sutiable for being a teacher. When I study in university, I think I found what I like to do, in the future, so, I think the school ssytem still has it's advantage for everyone's learning.




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