Academic intelligence – at the cost of what?

Every day kids go to school they become less intelligent. That’s what Eddy spends his talk on, and I’m telling you, Eddy Zhong is someone to keep an eye on. I stumbled upon his TED Talk after watching Todd Rose on The Myth of Average. And, as I’m guessing you’ll be as well, was intrigued. Watch it, and revert here afterwards, please.

As academic intelligence is pushed and encouraged within the confines of educational systems across the globe, creative intelligence is rapidly diminishing each passing year, turning creative children into teenagers unwilling to step outside the box.

Eddy leaves us with this final thought to ponder:
No one has ever changed the world by doing what the world has told them to do. 

Now. Those aren’t my words. They are the words of an 18-year old mediocre high school kid, if by mediocre we mean his academic achievements in school. Because after listening to this speech, I have to say there’s nothing mediocre about him at all. And given that he’s just finished going through school, isn’t that precisely the type of voice we should really pay close attention to? What is he really saying?

Listen closely.
What do you hear?

Design to the edges

Here’s Todd Rose, on The Myth of Average, from a TEDxTalk that I’m hoping you will spend 20 minutes listening to:

When we design for the average we destroy talent.


Simple. No one is average.

Average people simply don’t exist, as proven by the US Air Force many decades ago. So designing for the average means we don’t design for anyone. Even before Todd started to draw parallells into the educational system, my mind had made a frog leap there, because if ever there was a system designed for the average, it’s that one.

So what can be done to combat this talent destruction? The US Air Force decided to ban the average, and go from designing to the average, to designing for the edges instead.  When will this create the changes we desperately need within educational systems across the globe?