My kids have to take a standardized test in a few weeks. I don’t like standardized tests. I really don’t like them and they know it. We took a practice exam over the weekend and it went as expected. The oldest tried their heart out and did average. The youngest didn’t try at all and did average.
That pretty much sums them up. One is bright and creative but has to work for their accomplishments in traditional school and will continue to have work for their accomplishments through life. This one will put in the time and accept their limitations in order to get the gold star. The other is a tested genius and could give a crap unless they want to give a crap. The youngest is a registered anarchist. That one won’t jump through your hoops or play your games, not unless they can see logic in your motives, and sometimes it’s hard to disagree.
As a parent, though, it’s been a struggle with that youngest. Why won’t they just do it – because if they did they’d be finished before everyone even started. They could make their lives so much easier than they have. But more and more I think the youngest is our future in education. More and more children are going to rebel and say ‘why? Why do I have to do it this way when this other way is as effective and more comfortable for me?’. And more and more adults aren’t going to have the answers to this question.
I wonder about the many children that have been left behind by the inflexible rigidity of our educational system, a system that rewards based on slight of hand and obedience. How much creativity and genius have we lost over the decades to kids who just gave up because they couldn’t figure out how to game the situation.
The argument is that those kids aren’t the best and brightest and we didn’t lose anything. But I know we all know better than that and if we really look at the loss to our culture or arts or sciences or teaching or any industry, we have to know we could have and we need to do so much better. No not everyone is a superstar, but the North star is as effective in guiding as the sun. More so some would argue. It’s easy to get blinded by the obvious light of the superstar sun and miss the other amazing stars in our solar system.