if you have heard at least three friends or people you know say I hate okay now open your eyes and stay standing so what you’re seeing is that everyone around you know someone who is said I hate school afford and sit back down now but it is also that almost everyone has also said at some point in their life I hate school so someone please tell me like when did you say it what do you remember about that moment what made you hate school let me want to volunteer I remember being in school and feeling uninspired by the person i was listening to and thinking this is a waste of my time being uninspired by the person you’re listening to you feeling this is a waste of your time maybe some you can relate that same feeling yeah knowing that most of what I was learning I was never going to need no knowing that most we learned to never gonna need to know I can definitely relate to that if any of you have seen this really catching YouTube video it’s based on the song somebody that i used to know it’s on some sunny like used to know and it uses the same tune it was just thinking of it all at all learned then don’t really use in the real world what are some other things what what have you said as reasons before teachers are mean i feel you as someone who’s allowed to make up flats that i miss when i’m traveling with Evan would be a lot one so we’re hearing a lot of different reasons but I’m definitely getting into you the same oh yeah the teachers would like some fire teacher that was like more nice to girls and boys sorry dear that we have really some issues sometimes individual teachers we have issues with being uninspired whether by individual teacher perhaps by a costumer schools culture and we also see a disconnect between the things that we’re learning and what we actually need in the world I think that’s a pretty accurate summary most of the reasons I’ve heard from my friends and I wanted to come back to that the first thing when we start with a little passage that I read in a distinctly uninspiring place a place where you usually don’t find that greater pieces of writing which is all taking the AP language test so I was sitting there and it was this hostage and I realized wow this is actually kind of a cool um excerpt so it began by describing the trend of parents purchasing rear seat and in-dash multimedia entertainment products for the sake a little dicey piece so maybe some of you have these in your cars like a TV that the kids in the back to watch or whatever else and one of my favorite paradise in this my life is why you so many people no longer consider the physical world worth watching the highways edges may not be postcard perfect before century children’s early understanding of how cities and nature fit together with gain from the backseat the empty farmhouse at the edge of the subdivision the variety of architecture here and there the woods and fields and water beyond see me edges all that was and is still available to the eye this was the landscape that we washed his children it was our drive by movie in our useful boredom we used our fingers to draw pictures on fogged glass as we watch telephone poles tick by we saw birds on wires and combines in the fields we were fascinated with roadkill and we counted cows and horses and coyotes and shaving cream spines we stared the kind of reverence horizon as thunderheads and dancing rain moved with us we held our little plastic cars against the glass and pretended that they too were racing toward some unknown destination we considered the past and dreamed of the future and watched it all go by in the blink of an eye and that’s a quote from Richard Louv and lost child in the woods and I thought about this especially because i was taking amtrak and i realize i pulled out my laptop sleeve work because my thighs on the trains there yet but also not yet because suddenly i was looking more of my screen I was looking outside and I was on a bus once from Singapore and Malaysia and I was sitting two rows behind a little kid he was on an ipod and he was watching gone in style on loot now if anyone has stopped had a five-year-old there are multiple reasons why this is occasionally uh irritating on a really really long journey no offense to find an audience by the way y’all are great i love him but this particular five-year-old had played bong in style let’s say four times and at this point i had the lyrics so imprinted in my mind that when he started it up for the fifth time I was very close to getting out of my seat walking a few inches forward grabbing the iPad and

smashing of the little tikes head I should really think about this anger management what was interesting though is not so much but he was watching garmin style because he really liked kpop but rather than his mom had just essentially handed him i pad because he was fidgety and he basically needed to have something hold attention through the song best ride and more and more often i’m seeing devices being used this way as diversions because god forbid that a child should be more than look out the window or make noise or be a bother but i think that it’s sending sometimes a message of the idea that there can be useful boredom but whatever’s outside the window isn’t worth watching and really what’s outside the window who cares on-screen cat talking tom maybe some tough enough is still purring and kamikaze birds are still being kamikaze birds and angry birds or if you can still slice fruit like a boss with fruit ninja whatever’s outside probably can’t stand up to that but this is so different from what i experienced growing up when I was pretty little then my parents basically just sent us out to a backyard that was really sprawling and messy we had lots lots of random planks of wood and bricks and what is all lying around no I did not live by a junkyard but we have all this access to what we saw his tools and what my parents on is junk when I said I went bored then I could go into something I’d go play outside maybe I write a poem or try my hand origami oh I never got very far when we prioritize keeping a kid occupied somehow filling time and we make this our first priority then you might draw a child away from being forward but you also created a consumer where you might have otherwise how to producers but otherwise had a kid who’s making stuff and finding a way to filled our own time and fix their boredom whether an education reform or organizational management it’s always vital task not just what kind of consumers students and clients are creating but if you’re creating juicers if you’re creating teachers and I hope that if I asked you guys who here is a teacher that you would all stand up because in truth every single one of you is a teacher you might not stand up in kind of a classroom with a whiteboard and tell someone how to add one plus one or significantly more complicated equations but I know that you’ve taught someone something maybe you taught your best friend how to make a friendship bracelet I still don’t know how to do that by the way so anyone it wants to volunteer to teach me that maybe you taught someone what it is to be nice on the playground maybe you toss some what it is to be nice at work there are so many ways in which we are teachers in everyday life and I think that is often forgotten when we think about education we think about reform and when we think about our perceptions of young people so I think that we need to think about how we can enable students to realize that they are teachers to realize they have that intrinsic gift and make sure that they share it is the curiosity that nature inspires the view out the window on the bus or the car that the author describes so beautifully that gets people to make things material or immaterial and we need a generation of makers I like to think that I was something pioneer in this field my headed out to my family’s backyard and put together inventions made out of mud and swings but I’m sure would have put G and Apple products to shame I swear they were useful and soon my attention turned not just making things with my hands but making things with my mind because when i was around five years old friend told me oie to read write and i was like what oh it was possible you just shouted my worldview how’d that happen but I really thought that I thought everyone was like me which meant that everyone must have liked to read night so I decided I’ve got to change a lot and he started going to schools but the crate full of stuffed animals and passing them out to people and asking what should we write about what’s new characters and let’s write up stories and I realized that it was really sure that this magic happens when we collaborate who we work together when I ask them questions and they contributed and it wasn’t just me having a top-down approach it wasn’t just me saying here’s the right way to write and i’m going to write a story now and you’re going to sit and listen instead the magic happened when i asked someone for their ideas and that’s how we managed to make crazy free verse poem about ninjas bladder control problems good luck is exactly the kind of awesome thing that first grade boys come up with and i found that it was an incredibly rare right for many of these kids to break out of this diet of film and like activities where they had been given very safe and sanitized series of words and they had to just throw in one from

the word bank and I realized that it’s when we take risks and then we aren’t afraid to do gross things or debugging things that may be made the teachers firm a little bit that we really got his excited hey Fred Korea I gave a speech at the TEDx event I organized and she told me anecdote about how when she was in middle school she was instructed to write a poem about winter but half of the words were already provided is that really writing a poem so exploiting the Liberty that we have when we actually in terrain we had to rate everything we were able to come with characters who is ridiculous as they were beautiful and I think that that made it more enjoyable for all of us unfortunately I think that not all that much sometimes changes from our school days in the sense that were expected to fill in blanks often many people don’t feel as though they have the chance to work in jobs where they have creative freedom and takes guts to work outside the status when I greatly look up to the people who do that who break out of the mold to use that phrase I had the privilege of visiting the MIT Media Lab when I was in Boston and I visited a graduate student in their name ghe and she’s doing incredible things with technology with art and she calls a combination of high and low tech and what I found was that she pulls together all these disciplines you might not think could be any more different I mean she studied engineering and she studied all these very like hardcore science things and then she’s using traditional Chinese paintings over top a network of LED circuits so what you see in front of you as a viewer walking in as you see something like this basically she drew a bunch of dandelions in ink but then when you blow on the surface of the painting that LED lights light up and they scatter because of the weight of the circuits drive so she’s using this combination of inspiration from nature to create with dandelions this classical Chinese painting and she’s using the technology underneath to create the illusion of dandelion seeds flying through the air at a single breath I just did it again and again I was captivated I could not get enough of that because it was nothing like I was basically I never seen anything like that before it was like nothing I’d ever seen and what I saw was that it was really powerful to not create these artificial separations to say of technologies technology and that’s for all these geeky guys who are super paste and white never going outside and all they do is stay inside their computers maps of that group and art is for these crazy fun 50 people who wear cool glasses and have super long hair and wear flowered dresses sure what else to stereotype there but yeah she’ll tell those artists and thank you their art and never the twain shall meet oh we know that’s not true because there are people like this graduate student at MIT Media love who is bringing all these layers of things together and I saw how powerful that wasn’t happening real world and I asked why does not have more often in education why don’t we see over laughing of nature and technology as seamlessly as the students that might media lab / do with a piece of paper and an LED circuit board that was a pretty incredible moment for me and I think it ties in really well with his ideas symbiotic learning the best part was with she handed my sister and my friends box of circuits and LEDs and batteries and wires and she told us to build our own inventions quite honestly I was really daunted because i did not see myself as a goofy person or someone who’s very good with wires and stuff if something goes wrong on my computer I try a few different things and then if all else fails i call up one of my friends and so I was scared to touch it but i really look forward to trying now that I’ve taken computer science engineer plus I’m seeing even more fundamentally how people are not just limiting themselves in their experience and their ideas to what they know about you know wires batteries they’re bringing in so much knowledge from other fields and it really does come back to thinking about it in the same way that a kid who’s in their backyard is a bunch of mud and twigs thinks about things and so people often ask me about how I became so opinionated on education reform why do I sigh everything back to education why do I look at a bunch of my lines and think of schools I think it started young because when I was little I was actually homeschooled and I had all these friends who went to the local elementary school who had really cool worksheets I was like oh my god I want your worksheets they’re so pretty and I have to write whole paragraphs do you understand you feel man this really sucks and I’m glaring may look slightly different at that time but in retrospect I should all have been so envious because as someone who’s now in high school I realized that so many of the biggest problems in school can be alluded to with one fact that it is perfectly normal that I expected that most of you would stand up for the I

heat school statement that it is normal for kids to say I eat school and parents to say yeah that’s just kind of what happens it is normal for anyone to say that they don’t want to go to school that they have to be forced they actually dragged out of bed or they pretend to be sick the reason that I travel internationally speaker education is because most simply I want to see a future we’re showing has to be forced to go to school in which no one kicks and screams and says I he in school and I want every single school to look like a student dreamed it up which requires three things autonomy curiosity and balance of the most tricked-out technology not big data not even the smartest students I’m kicking it old school and saying that the things we need most in education are not new inventions but things that we’ve had all along and simply lost I remember distinctly hearing speaker at a conference I attended a few years ago say this red education he said if you were to educate a child just a natural setting home or you’re out in the woods maybe really in the old school and what would you do you sittin down in your living room and say okay you stay here for one hour after that one hour of reading or whatever else is up then I will ring a little bell and you can go to the bathroom and everybody just kind of looked at him and then they oh okay what you saying is that it’s not natural the way that we have this like Austin such an empathy but I saw him more powerfully but it’s not only not natural but it’s not conducive learning because the way that I learn is I check out 17 books from the library quite a bookworm and I sit on my couch and I spent four hours reading about rabies or this novel yeah it was really good fun babies up I really really into it I start foaming at the mouth like I one of those dogs but gravy’s in the book I realized that that’s all type of learning because really happen when you’re telling kids okay now remember learning about hey that’d be ever going to like do it in this very orderly fashion it’s super separate and huge of a teacher starving some one of these things and it only happen at a given time but learning isn’t something that only happens when you want it to and how you want it to learning sneaks in and learning is about many many different subjects that can’t be restricted to just like four or five or six so for me I’ve learned best not because of regimen and timelines and very linear curriculums what we have a personal relationships think about that for a moment personal relationships when you think about learning maybe you think more subjects you think about the topics alert throughout math or history or science or dates and time by some learning to be much more than that I mean everything i learned in their short life thank for a moment with the most important lesson you’ve ever learned inside or outside of school and i’m willing to bet quite a lot it wasn’t how to solve a quadratic equation that it wasn’t how to analyze romeo and juliet it was something neat and meaningful but who you were or how to make a moral decision or what was right these are the kinds of lessons that we often don’t learn in school and sometimes I wondered how I walk away from certain long conversations in the wee hours of the night feeling so much smarter and curious about all things in the world I don’t know that I realized that that is naturally how learning usually happens that’s how learning happened for ages through conversations the dialogue and Plato’s symposium may have been fictional but his platonic ricotta and happy was not at school didn’t have a particular doctrine or a formal distinction between to the teachers aren’t even students sort of alien that everyone who pose good problems to be studied and solved by the others learning through asking questions and solving problems with peers and teachers requires independence from students but its independence that many adults here is unreasonable to expect there’s a tremendous irony to be found in the fact that for years and years were taught to follow instructions to the letter to fill in blanks and then when we’re thrown into an environment where we have fewer assignments more free time and choice that we’re not ready that environment of course is called college and I find it surprising that so much of the emphasis on college readiness and career readiness focuses on more drilling for tests and more filling in blanks and following instructions instead of the realization that so much of why students fail is because they’ve forgotten how to fill their own free time without so much telling them how to we haven’t had that time to stare out the windows and the side we want to write poems I found so much in dependency my time in nature some of my best poems have been dreamt up on hikes through the woods when I got really sentimental about weeping willow trees and it’s probably a sign of an over-ambitious do but I like to think

that I’m following the steps of authors like Henry David Thoreau who’s famous Walden was the result of spending months in solitude on the shore of Walden Pond people off to question the realism with such independence though can students really be trusted and if you give students the chance to engage with nature but should we observe and learn from their surroundings well they just slack off well I know of a student who’s schooling ended he was 10 another left in his mid-teens and another had nearly a year’s worth or school and all were sent off to work near early on do you feel sorry for these kids and wish that they had had a chance to have more education you know all the rest do you say you feel sorry for them raise your hands if you feel sorry for them okay so they were sent off to work they their schooling ended so one of them had school again when he was 10 you feel sorry for this kid okay see some nods and hands well their names are Benjamin Franklin George Bernard Shaw and Abraham Lincoln respectively I know that they may be from another time but my point in bringing up their stories is to say the independence is not something that necessarily has to be taught to students it’s something that we should never lose Franklin and Sean Lincoln we’re certainly extraordinary individuals who are really bright and education was less easily accessible in commonplace in the past but I see the exact same traits may exhibit a voracious appetite for books and independence and the desire to problem solve and ask interesting questions and so many of my classmates I see it in my friends I see it in kids just like some of you in the audience i think i also see those traits squashed every day is cool and one saying soupery once said if you want to build a don’t drop up the men to gather would divide the work and give orders instead teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea I want this to be exactly what education does I want this to be what my education is nature creates that yearning and curiosity naturally if you’ve ever put a kid in the middle of the forest just watch them take off they ask why the leaves are green and why the sky is blue and so many other questions there are earthworms to poke okay don’t actually poker and dirt to dig and all those other things to just observe and so can and ask questions about because it’s naturally just like if you’re sitting on the bus and you’re watching the world pass by there are so many ideas they can just come off with that and it’s an easy transition into learning in other subjects when you ask those questions like why are leaves green why is the sky blue and you get sentimental about a weeping willow tree or you think about how or why there’s cuts on the side of an old stump and you learn about logging in that area than that actually segues in the history and science and writing and all these other subjects that we’ve been raised to traditionally isolate the school and I think that there’s also another aspect which is that when kids are surrounded by nature and even when adults aren’t around the woods they have to look up at towering redwoods are crazy different colors of mushrooms and all the other incredible things that are out there they get a respect and they get a love that you can’t produce outside you can’t produce it through just lossy pamphlets I’m asking people to sign up for Sierra Club you have to produce it by being there and that’s how you get citizens who cared about preserving it and you care about keeping it safe politicians can easily toss down buzzwords about climate change of protecting the environment but if someone has never seen what they’re trying to protect had no incentive incentive to do that so creating the spirit of preserving nature in our future leaders begins with educating students with a grounding in the natural world early the same way that we’re born with curiosity or independence i think the word born with the desire for balance we want to get enough sleep nobody goes out the world and things okay i’m going to deprive myself of five days of sleep like for fun we’ve got that check down actually have a attitude we won sufficient time with friends do want a sufficient time alone one had this desire for balance in my junior year I forgot Bobby’s for quite a while I brought balance because I wasn’t ishes I was co-president of model un and speech in the bait I decided to join wrestling he might also decided to run a 5k and write a novel because it was november national Melba a welcome and I was taking for you follow so what this resulted in was me in school library after school we practice to start and trying to do homework but more often crashing and all asleep and drooling unattractively any of you have fallen asleep on top of my patch now yeah what’s going around there hey this length is not so unique because I know

people think we’ve had to deal with doing a lot more than that but this year I had to take a health class as a graduation requirement i say i had to because it’s a requirement most of my friends try to get out of its derived it does an easy egg but it was one of my favorite classes because it taught me again to look for that balance that I had been forgetting I remember one day in health I asked to go use the bathroom and instead of going to the bathroom I actually ran outside and I just kept on running until I have gone across the street and I’d entered Hartman park which is the park across the street in high school and obviously school wasn’t out yet so I wasn’t supposed to be out there and I just walked and I walked and I want to tie found the entrance to the woods and then I walked a little further and I sat on this moss-covered walk and may be able to cry if I had known at that point in time that I failed my Bible final maybe I would have gotten really angry and throw some rocks but it was so calming and I just SAT there and I inhaled the fresh air and I just I think he styled it was the closest I’ve ever gotten to meditation outside of running because honestly I had a hard time I couldn’t like force myself to just sit in class and like calm down I sort of just had to get out and I realized that that was an opportunity I was really lucky I was really lucky that nobody came looking for me or asked why I took like 10 minutes to go to the bathroom and but I also had a force that was just pretty much right across the street and that i had this chunk of time where i could sit there and collect my thoughts and relaxed and it felt for a short moment like i had got my internal locus of control now like I was actually in control how I felt and how my day was going and how does a feeling that is out of reach for so many students like you were a student and you walk through those school doors and it feels like everyone else but you has a hold on how you feel it feels like your friends were telling you that you’re not wearing the right clothes are not seeing the right boys or whoever else it feels like your friends are controlling how you feel and what you think it feels like your teachers who just gave you those bad grades or gave you an F on the test or or mean to you it feels like they’re controlling how you feel and how you think it feels like everyone else but you has control so for me to go out there and sit on that mossy log just breathe fresh air there’s a small peaceful oasis in that desert and I think that it is chance that every single student should have feel like they’re independent feel like they’re in a place the balance and control and that they can just sit and observe and learn in a way that is natural instead of one is regimented and constricting and I can also remember that people when I tell them in that story or stories that are similar of how I want students to have control so they’re meant to Thomas preserve so they feel more comfortable in their learning environment some people will say well that’s all very nice and it’s great you had a nice haul teacher and it’s ideal to have nice people around but schools for C corporations of society and society is not nice society doesn’t have you nice teachers all the time doesn’t hand working adults and I’m trying to take care of yourself life is just a rat race I disagree i think that we build what we’ve won our society in our schools students want the balance that I found in that moment students want to be allowed to be curious by having access to nature that fuels have creative thoughts the question is will stakeholders and education do more than listen but also take action in asking this question audiences I often quote in my favorite poems which is Harlem by Langston Hughes it reads what happens to a dream deferred does it dry up like A Raisin in the Sun or fester like a sore and then run does it stink like rotten meat or crust and sugar over like a syrupy sweet maybe it just sides like a heavy load or does it explode I quote it because every day teachers are walking into classrooms and staring at faces in rows upon rows of students with dreams to bird taking action is now more than ever an urgent moral imperative because we see how education could be better we have more chances than ever to make change outside of our schools kids today are power to start petition changed Oregon act in their communities in ways that make their city better and we realize that there are all these exciting possibilities in the world outside so the contrast between these exciting possibilities and the arbitrary information that we memorized in school has become too great so when I think about schools that facilitate independent learning and creative doing I ask questions what if schools are more like Plato’s Academy increase with more peer-to-peer learning and asking

questions and problem solving what if they were more like libraries and sense of being open spaces acting as portals to knowledge and discovery we need spaces that inspire us and don’t restrict us spaces that allow us to explore discover imagine and make things spaces that allow us to be close to nature so we can draw that same inspiration that kid on the bus might have you looked outside the window for once instead of just play longer style on when I talked to students a decade or two down the road I want them to be amazed and incredulous and I say that when I went to school everyone was expected to do things the same way if you wanted to do crazy awesome things like organize conferences are certain on profits you had to do the outside of school that you didn’t have the sense to change the world from your classroom chair really but I’m not they might just be a selfish desire for me in my last year in high school too I desperately want those students of the future to be amazed because I want them to know only a world where independent thinking and creative doing are the norm and not the exceptions that slip through the cracks in our rigid schoolroom walls there’s a story line grew up with as this book worm who devoured frickin apology the story of medias sunny 10 story for media some Greek mythology fans here to see couple raised hands okay so he lived up a mountain with his all the rest of the Greek gods and stuff was pretty happy there and he went out amongst men to live with them and he quickly noticed that they were unhappy he wondered why well he saw they were living in caves and holes of the earth they were shivering with cold they were dying of starvation and they were hunted by wild beasts and one another it was not a great place to live at that time so for me these thought if only they had any asses fire fire exactly if only they had fire because without fires and they are worse off than the Beast her media swinton Zeus yes none yet stole the fire from volunteering is not quite he went to do some he stole it from yeah okay so um he basically Prometheans asked can I have fired juices all no way because humans are lower than us as you said not one spark will I share with them I know my voice it back to do the king of Avadh spray justice but Prometheus had set his heart on helping mankind’s and found at all stock of fennel this is just the elaboration I know that we know the spoiler but we have some details so he broke off the stock at that one Indian journeying up now all of this he said mankind it on fire and so the story of our meeting says he snuck quietly into Zeus’s domain and stole a spark from his own lightning bolt lightning bolt there might be different versions yeah but it could be a polished chariot or it could be Zeus is like him fully because two passports and so Prometheus hurried back to his own lands the land of them and we carry within the spark hidden in the hollow center of the penalty and have fire now I told the story because but people I know who have taken it into their own hands to make things by their lessons or events or novels or high-tech artwork or schools have broken our hands ready for the shaping so I challenge you to ask yourself do you want to do things that people nearly consumed or washer laughs I do you want to be just a consumer of things or do you want to be like Prometheus bringing us the gift of fire from the gods so that we may all see what may be illuminated not flickering light it’s a question not only for you as students not only food as parents but also to all of you as teachers teachers who know things you can share with others there’s friendship bracelets or how to solve certain kinds of equations how to be a really really kind person these are things that you know you’ve taught other people you can continue to teach so I want us to move beyond the artificial separations of who’s a student and who’s the teacher of what subject is which and simply think about how we can all work together protocol of learning more and in better ways and I would love to hear your suggestions your thoughts on how we can make schools better on what you would love to see in your own education especially from it gives me up here and answer any questions started just rattling it off and she just stared at me and she was like whoa okay you know that was like I said oh how about feeling learning to read is

great so any final comments or questions and then like tell me more I’ll get it and get all excited that’s all so many hydrogen all patients suddenly when I can relate to I’ve been loving lately having things that I learned in the past that I’m just very interested in learning but i had no idea what surfing analemma now in my more mature like figuring out how they fit into the puzzle realizing it was great now and thank you so much Thank You Dora Thank You Joyce

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