What Is School For?

Try It

This eight-minute video will resonate with many of your students, and may be a wake-up call for adults. It’s full of passion and emotion, as it argues that much of what is covered in school is useless later in life, and much of what is useful later in life isn’t covered in school. 

Discuss It

  • To what extent does this video reflect the perspectives of different constituencies in your school community?
  • Are you willing to ask your students to watch it? Why or why not?
  • What holds us back from aligning more of the learning in school with what’s needed later in life?


Go Deeper

For middle and high school curriculum, make a list of the topics students spend a few weeks on. Then, survey adults to see how many they use regularly. Ask adults what they wish they had learned in school, but didn’t.
Listen to this Freakonomics podcast about high-school math. They surveyed listeners, asking how many regularly use the four high-school math focal points (algebra, geometry, trig, calculus). Only a tiny percent reported using any of these subjects regularly! The podcast argues for math priorities that emphasize statistics and data analytics — important to adults for career, citizenship, and personal decisions.
Check out Prince EA’s other video ‘The People vs. The School System’ aimed to energize your community!