5 School Facts — Thought Glass #7
Vsauce! Kevin here. Kids in the U.S. haven’t always had summers
off. In rural areas, they went to school in summer and winter to help during planting
and harvesting while urban kids went year round. In the mid 1800’s schools shifted
to a standardized fall-spring schedule allowing for family vacations and to give relief from
buildings with no air conditioning and doctors at the time supported this – saying that summers
off would also help protect kids’ brains from overuse. Meanwhile, kids are getting smarter. The “Flynn
Effect,” shows that IQ scores improve markedly with each generation. Professor James Flynn
found that if students a hundred years ago took today’s IQ test, they’d average 70, while
if students today took the test 100 years ago, they’d average 130. Explanations include
better healthcare, nutrition and more schooling… And the fact that people before the scientific
age were often adverse to classifying things they couldn’t use – and didn’t routinely
engage in hypothetical or abstract thought. Neuropsychologist A.R. Luria tested this on
a socially isolated farmer about a hundred years ago and it went something like this. What do a chicken and a dog have in common?
Nothin’. A chicken has two legs, a dogs have four. Chicken have wings – dogs don’t!
Okay you’ve explained how they’re different but how are they alike?
They’re not. Is there one word though that you could use
for both of them? Nope.
What about ‘animal’? Would the word ‘animal’ fit?
Yes. Online courses are commonplace now but Sir
Isaac Pitman actually established the first distance learning course in the 1840’s.
Pitman taught shorthand by mailing postcards to students and correcting the answers that
they mailed back. In the 1920s, educational radio programs were considered textbooks in
the air. And today there are over 2,200 courses available online around the world. For free. While South Korea is using robot teachers
to help children with learning disabilities, a kindergarten in Switzerland is bringing
education back to its roots. Literally. They have a school outside in the forest where
kids attend rain or snow learning to build fires and shelters alongside their ABCs. And as always – thanks for watching. It’s School of YouTube week and you can make
a difference to the millions of children worldwide who won’t be going back to school this year. Whether due to lack of teachers, school materials
or worse so click on the donate button – if you can – to help spread ideas and knowledge