Monday, June 1, 2009

Chasing The A

One of the blogs that I follow on my Google Reader is called "Pair-a-dimes For Your Thoughts," by David Truss.

David posted an article in reference to another essay. The essay David references is called, "Why Our Current Education System is Failing," and it appears on a website/blog called, "A Boundless World," written by Bud.

David makes a couple interesting comments:

I think that the ‘missing piece’ when it comes to education today, is that it tries to fill us with important things rather than make us feel important and valued… it feeds us content, but doesn’t leave us contented in any meaningful way.

Marks seem to take our attention away from what matters. I find it funny that we can assess young kids without grades and then around Grade 3 we suddenly start indoctrinating students into the paradigm of good marks = success…. and the really important things we learn in Kindergarden about sharing, respecting and loving one another, as well as communicating how we feel and getting along with each other, suddenly takes a back seat to achieving some sort of success beyond these things that really matter.

Bud's article contains some great nuggets of wisdom that give me, as a educator, food for thought. I encourage everyone to read it. The article is written by a high school student, which is a bit surprising, as it is very well written and strikes me as quite wise.

Bud's primary criticism is that too much emphasis is placed on grades and the pursuit of grades in modern schools.
We can be as happy and as successful as we choose to be. Our attitude, not our grades, determines our success.

I’m not suggesting that our current education system doesn’t do any good. It does teach us the basic necessities. However, much of what we learn in school is not practical in the real world.

Where are the courses on blogging? Where are the money management courses? Where are the classes dedicated to eradicate poverty? Where are the classes that help us find our purpose?

Our current education system places too much emphasis on the A and not enough emphasis on unleashing the promise that lies in each and every one of us.

Bud suggests that students should be allowed to choose the books they read. Education needs to be student-centered, to maintain student interest.

Education is about unleashing one’s confidence. Education is learning from failure. Education is growing from experience. Education is discovering your passions then pursuing them.
Education is not rote memorization. Education is not analyzing books that have no meaning to you. Education is not wasting your time on subjects you hate. Education is not being paralyzed because your afraid to fail.

Bud comments on life:

The traditional life time line:

High School: College: Grad-School: Job ( you most likely hate): Retire: Die

Why not:

High School: Find Your Purpose: Love Your Job: Live your life. Die Happy?

Bud's message is that passion should fuel our life:

Education is all about growth, it’s about experience, it’s about creating authentic relationships. It’s about being human. It’s about connecting with humanity.

Our current education system is inherently flawed. Times are changing. We must stop obsessing over becoming “book smart” and instead focus on unleashing our passions.

Without living out our passions we just add to the clutter of the world.

When we choose security, we sacrifice our passions, killing part of us in the process.

I have tremendous faith that the answers to today’s problems of the world: poverty, war, and disease, will be solved by the youth of today not because they are smart but because they follow their passions.

Bud concludes by telling teachers what to do:

We need to be inspired. We need to be encouraged. We need to spend time doing things we love. We want to change the world.

And finally:

In no way am I suggesting getting good grades is a bad thing; that would be foolish. Getting good grades is not the problem. Allowing grades to dictate one’s life is.

Grades don't guarantee success.

Passion + Determination + Positive Attitude = Success.

Photo by krikketgirl.


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