It's easy to blame students, isn't it?
Regardless of whether they actually deserve it or not (let's just focus on the actual act of blaming here), it is, indeed, very easy to blame the students. Why? Blaming the school or the system would force a massive rethink of how people are taught in this country. I mean, wouldn't it have to?
It's only fair. We'd be forced to consider totally revamping the system of education in the same way that we try to force others to change who they are when their mindset does fall in line with the standards of society. (e.g., We all have friends who were judged because they didn't want to go to college.)
It wouldn't be convenient at all, either. To consider changing a system that's been in place in this country for decades is hard work, never mind actually executing an effective change. It's just too much. That's probably why many have shied away from thinking that the way in which people are educated from a young age in America is even a little off. Though, "many" wouldn't include this guy:
"Education, in a way, dislocates very many people from their natural talents. And human resources are like natural resources; they're often buried deep. You have to go looking for them; they're not just lying around on the surface. You have to create the circumstances where they show themselves," Sir Ken Robinson said in speech he delivered 2010. "You might imagine education would be the way that'd happen. But too often it's not."
Robinson, who has delivered a series of TED Talks on education, is an English, New York Times best-selling author, who frequently speaks on the inefficiencies of our school systems in America. Point blank, Robinson says our system of education simply does not work and it's hard to argue against him when he elaborates.
As he states in the above cited quote, schools spend years and years teaching students in a way that does not at all help them develop their natural, God-given talents. Education is about conformity, he argues, and those who don't prove their strength, in the maths and sciences particularly, usually get left behind. Much worse, they might even be deemed useless.
"What schools are encouraged to do is find out what kids can do across a very narrow spectrum of achievement," Robinson said.
Because schools are built to test and squeeze narrow abilities in that narrow spectrum, a wide range of talents aren't developed until later in life. Even worse, those talents can be lost forever. With all the years devoted to meeting the standards of standardized tests that focus on two subjects out of the many in the world, people's creative abilities, Robinson says, are killed.
It's likely to be the reason he goes on about talents being "buried deep." That point has to be made because schools are not designed to find those talents and make used of them, he says. It's a true shame because the real loser in all of this is society.
"Human communities depend upon a diversity of talent, not a singular conception of ability. At the heart of the challenge is to reconstitute our sense of ability and intelligence."
Perhaps if those senses are reconstituted, if our standard of "intelligence" changes, we'll get to witness a society where everyone's talents are given room to develop and blossom, without the pressure of having to struggle in the narrow spectrum.
Top photo credit: Harry Potter